Letter: Does the city of Topeka have competent lawyers?

The Topeka Legal Department’s budget shows 15 full-time professionals separated into three divisions: chief of litigation with an associate attorney, paralegal and legal specialist, chief of prosecution with two assistant attorneys, an associate attorney, a legal specialist III and two legal assistants I, and a deputy city attorney with a senior attorney and a senior paralegal. This brings the cost of personnel to $1,058,349.

Yet last Sunday’s front page article in the Capital-Journal, “Police Actions Cost City,” says the city spent defense costs of $1,076,318.69 for outside counsel over the past eight years. Assuming we have competent, able attorneys, why the added expense?

According to the chief of litigation, “When a conflict of interest arises, the city retains outside counsel.” Why can’t the chief of litigation defend the city’s interests in these cases? Why are there so many conflicts of interest?




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