Exclusive: City Attorney has $1m/18 person staff as city suffers water/trash scandals
Unbelievable new information has been uncovered in the wake of the Shreveport City Hall meltdown. The absence of leadership became apparent when certain decades-long city purse grafters, Scott Pernici and Michael Wainwright (along with a few others), decided they wanted to profit off of a $1million water under-billing “error” they had miraculously “found”. When that did not pay off as they had hoped, it led to a massive lawsuit against the city and a tremendous amount of chaos inside City Hall ensued. Private attorney, Julie Lafargue of Abrams & Lafargue, was hired to represent the City of Shreveport in its lawsuit in spite of William Bradford’s City Attorney’s office having a staff of lawyers. Next, Shreveport Mayor Ollie and the City Council (except for Michael Corbin) kicked around raising a regressive trash tax that was recently defeated. In that flare up, the Mayor threatened that city services like street improvements may have to be cut back if she did not get her trash tax… the logic behind this was an outlandish deception, because the Mayor had already claimed that these funds were going to be used for a city employee pay raise, nothing else.
In that light, RealShreveport.com requested to see just what our city is paying for in salaries for the City Attorney’s office. Many of us have spent a lot of time studying the largesse of our local government. Thousands of our readers seem to daily question, “where does the money go?” when we report just how much revenues local government bodies receive in taxation from us. See the City Attorney payroll report provided:
2016 City Attorney Salaries *note that some of these positions are currently vacant and some of these employees have left. We are told that all vacant positions are sought to be filled.
It turns out that our City Attorney has a staff of 18 people with a payroll of over $1million/year (remember, that’s how much was under billed in the water scandal).
In spite of our City’s supposed “need” to hire outside counselors to defend a lawsuit in this water scandal (she’s also responsible for reviewing public records requests lately), we have found that there are TEN full time attorneys on the City’s payroll. For those ten attorneys, there are EIGHT employees in a clerical/supporting position… a.k.a. almost one assistant for every attorney. Readers should also note that every employee in the City Attorney’s office except for Bradford would have been receiving pay raises under Ollie Tyler’s trash tax money grab that was recently resisted.
William Bradford, Ollie Tyler’s appointment for City Attorney has a base pay of $120,000 per year. His army of attorneys is apparently not good enough though, so countless thousands are paid to outside attorneys like Lafargue (more on that later). In another city, where accountability matters, Mayor Tyler would have held Bradford accountable for the legal fiasco that is the water scandal… instead, she self-righteously digs in and threatens taxpayers and City Council members with service cuts for resisting throwing more good money after bad upon her insistence.
Shreveporters need not look very far to answer the question of “where does all the money go?”
It’s all right here, hidden right in front of us… in countless salaries for far too many employees and their assistants not being held to account in a city that is spiraling out of control. This absence of leadership is astonishing when one considers the massive tab for all of this activity. We deserve more for our money, and our city “leadership” (public as well as those in hiding) are beginning to see the normal, everyday people demand more than what we’re getting out of this bunch.