$1.1 Million on Monopoly Bargaining

On July 6, 2015, in News Clips, by CLJ

San Antonio, Texas, spent $1.1 million on monopoly bargaining negotiations. Dillon Collier has the story on KENS live.

The city of San Antonio has spent more than $1.1 million dollars on collective bargaining negotiations, city records revealed this week.

The figure, which covers January 1, 2014 to May 18, 2015, is made up of outside attorney fees paid to three law firms as well as fees paid to two outside healthcare consultants.

Last month, the state attorney general’s office ordered the city to turn over travel expense records and itemized bills from law firms for it’s three outside attorneys: Jeff Londa, Bettye Lynn and Michael Bernard.

Records show Londa, a Houston-based labor attorney, charges the city $510 an hour for his services. Lynn, who is based in Ft. Worth, charges $275 an hour. Bernard, the former city attorney for San Antonio, charges $400 an hour.

“It’s staggering. That’s money that could have been spent on streets and light maintenance,” San Antonio Police Officers Association President Mike Helle said Friday.

“It’s gone completely unchecked, and I think it’s about time the mayor and council reel that in.”

City Manager Sheryl Sculley released the following statement Friday:

Police and fire collective bargaining agreements have cost over $1 Billion dollars over the last two years. A fraction of that cost has been spent ensuring that we have sound financial agreements to protect San Antonio taxpayers. Mike Helle’s attempt to stop the evergreen lawsuit is another distraction. The City plans to settle the union contract this month as directed by Mayor Taylor. We expect the police union will come prepared to negotiate next Friday, July 10th.

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