City of Noblesville considers request for $150,000 for outside legal services • Current Edition

City leaders in Noblesville are considering allocating $150,000 for outside legal services due to a vacancy for a city attorney.

Members of the Noblesville Common Council are expected to vote on an ordinance on the matter at its Sept. 13 meeting at 7 p.m. An initial proposal was presented at the last council meeting on August 23, where CFO/City Comptroller Jeff Spalding explained the need for funding.

Currently, the city has two people in its legal department — a vacant city attorney position and a paralegal — and Spalding said outside legal departments are used to supplement in-house legal departments as needed. Spalding added that outside attorneys are “engaged in complex and specialized legal areas.”

Former city attorney Lindsey Bennett held the position from January 2020 until March this year when she left for a position at a private law firm, Spalding said.

The city continues to consider candidates to fill the position, he said.,

The city’s legal department’s 2022 budget includes $512,400 for outside legal services, according to Spalding.

“These funds are used by the city to meet the legal counsel and representation needs of all city departments and their operations,” Spalding said. “These legal services include advice and representation on city contracts and procurement, compliance and risk management, personnel issues, litigation against or on behalf of city entities, tort claims , code enforcement, economic development and guidance in other areas.”

In the meantime, attorney Jon Hughes of Bose McKinney & Evans LLP, who provided legal services to the city on a variety of issues prior to Bennett’s transition, has undertaken more work to ensure business continuity and protecting interests on behalf of the public, Spalding said.

Spalding said he does not plan to ask the board for another appropriation for outside legal services, but noted that the $150,000 being considered is just one component of a total budget increase of $285,000 for the service. legal from the city in 2022. The remaining $135,000 will be provided through the transfer of funds already allocated elsewhere in 2022, including funds available from vacancy savings, Spalding added.

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