Friday, November 18, 2011
A costly legal maneuver
Even though Gini Tate's $225/hour contract was terminated by a 5-4 Regional School Committee vote (9/22/10) for Special Education legal services commencing 12/1/2010, with the contract turned over to Dupere & Dupere for a $36,000 total annual cost, taxpayers recently paid the law firm of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane (Ms. Tate's firm)$13,646 for special education legal services for only the first quarter of FY2012.
According to Regional School Committee Chair Rick Hood:
"There were three cases carried over from the transition between Dupere and MHLT (Attorney Tate). Two of the cases have reached conclusion and/or are awaiting the BSEA to issue their decision. The third case was a re-filing of a case where MHLT (Attorney Tate) had already worked extensively on it during the FY11 school year prior to Dupere being appointed the new SE attorney. Probably this is the case you are referring to.
Where MHLT was already deeply involved in a case it was thought best (and less expensive) to keep MHLT on it."
Of course that case he claims attorney Tate being "deeply involved in" had only been filed 11/13/10, less than a month after the Regional School Committee vote to terminate Ms. Tate and only two weeks before the 12/1/10 date of implementation. In fact, the case was withdrawn and refiled April 4, 2011 well after Dupere & Dupere took over.
But no, rather than let the new law firm handle it at no extra cost we have town officials opening a spigot--as though taxpayer money springs from an endless well.