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Riverside taxpayers to foot ‘above average’ legal expenses

Riverside taxpayers will cover more than $86,000 in unbudgeted legal expenses incurred over the past six months.

The $86,020 supplemental appropriation approved by council Thursday will be paid from the city’s general fund. Council also appropriated $2,660 related to the Wright Point development from a separate fund, according to a Nov. 8 memorandum to council from Finance Director Thomas Garrett.

“The City has experienced above average legal expenses during the past six months,” Garrett wrote. “There are multiple lawsuits and legal issues involving the City as a whole, as well as tenant issues and new leases in the Wright Point Fund.”

Using Ohio’s public records law, The Dayton Daily News obtained invoices from Bieser Greer, the law firm the city retained to execute removal proceedings against Councilman Steve Fullenkamp. The newspaper found the firm charged the city $48,355 for services in August through October. A November invoice from Bieser Greer is not yet filed.

The records show Special Counsel David Williamson billed the city at a rate of $300 per hour.

Minutes from a November city council meeting indicate the city’s insurance firm is footing the costs for additional representation from Surdyk Dowd & Turner in the Fullenkamp case.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Skelton granted Fullenkamp preliminary injunction Nov. 22, prohibiting the city council from further attempting to remove the local lawmaker while the lawsuit remains active. A docket for the case does not indicate when the parties will next meet with in court.

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