By James Clark email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – City Hall gets a partial victory in the ongoing legal drama that is "Lubbock versus Ted Parker." The St. Paul Travelers insurance company agreed to pay the city $500,000 related to the series of Parker lawsuits. The settlement goes to City Council on Thursday for final approval.
One source close to the situation says, "I can't believe we got them [St. Paul Travelers] to pay $500,000. This is a home run for the city."
Background: How Did This Start?
In 2006, the City sued its health insurance administrator, A.A.G. claiming Parker's company owes taxpayers as much as $12 million. Parker denied it, and filed a disparagement lawsuit against four city officials. Parker dropped his lawsuit back in June, but not before the city spent $2 million in legal fees.
Then the city's liability insurance carrier, St. Paul Travelers, sued the city, saying it did not want to be held responsible for the Parker lawsuit.
Instead of going to court, the city settled with St. Paul Travelers for $500,000, which leaves the city responsible for roughly $1.5 million in legal fees (for just one of the four or more Parker lawsuits).
Legal Drama Continues At Taxpayer Expense
The Parker lawsuit expenses continue even to this day. While Parker dropped his lawsuit, the city had counter-sued in Dallas County. So, the city is suing, and counter-suing Parker all at the same time. In the Dallas County counter-suit the city is still paying outside lawyers, even though Parker dropped that particular lawsuit.
In the Dallas County case, the city is not legally entitled to any damages. Instead, it's actually City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld, Assistant City Manager Scott Snider, Risk Management Director Leisa Hutchison, and former Mayor David Miller who are entitled to the award, if any. Nevertheless, the city is paying the legal bills.
Only one Councilman, Paul R. Beane, voted against this arrangement back in June.
Officials have said previously that they intend to make Parker's company reimburse the city for the remaining legal bills. So far, no such thing has happened.
Lifestyles Of Attorneys Paid With Tax Dollars
Separately, KCBD NewsChannel 11 evaluated some of the legal bills earlier this year, which include lavish items such as filet mignon, prime rib, oysters & shrimp, Starbucks coffee (at as much as $4.00 per cup), and beer. The legal bills that St. Paul Travelers did not want to pay also include steak dinners for four that cost $250. City officials have never said why they would pay such bills under the guise of legal services.
Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.