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Gonzales council attorney fees raising eyebrows

2 years 4 months 1 week ago September 11, 2014 Sep 11, 2014 Thursday, September 11 2014 September 11, 2014 5:45 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Rob Krieger

GONZALES - Weeks after Judge Alvin Turner filed a suit against the council, the bills are already rolling in for work performed by attorneys in the case.

Turner sued the council after they refused to rezone his property, but only three councilmen, Gary Lacombe, Terance Irvin, and Timothy Vessel, voted to block the zoning request.

It's why the council requested two separate attorneys in the suit. Dwight Poirrier represents Mayor Barney Arceneaux, Councilmen Kenny Matassa and Kirk Boudreaux, but Irvin, Vessel and Lacombe hired Robert Barnett to defend them in the suit.

On Wednesday evening, a special council meeting was called to address the fees due to attorneys. That's when Poirrier presented a bill for his work totaling $822.50 compared to the bill from Barnett that totaled $9,057.50 over the same amount of time.

"They have no concern on tax payers money, that's all tax payers dollars, I think it's ludicrous," said Matassa.

The bill broken down shows Barnett charged the city for nearly every interaction with the three councilmen, including $927.50 worth of messages, meetings and phone calls with Gary Lacombe.

"I can't believe the costs, but I mean, when you've got Lacombe calling you every ten minutes and Lacombe's not stupid, he's got to realize that the guy charges by the clock, and they have no respect for the tax payer's dollar," said Matassa.

The council moved to pay the bills, but Matassa inserted a motion to review each invoice before checks are written in the future.

News 2 reached out for comment from the three councilmen, only Gary Lacombe returned our call, but when asked for a comment, he referred us to the Mayor and then hung up.

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