Hearne council questions $43,000 bill after being dumped by city attorney

Published: Jan. 3, 2017 at 10:31 PM CST
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The Hearne city council met Tuesday for the first time since the city's attorney abruptly quit last week and slammed the council for being combative and unprofessional.

Council members were shocked to learn that the former law firm of Denton, Navarro, Rocha, Bernal, Hyde & Zech stuck the city with a $43,000 bill for the months of September and October. The firm had been representing the city for six months.

The council also learned that there is still an invoice pending for the last two months of the year.

"Everything was a charge. If they called just to get any kind of anything on the agenda, which I mean, those calls should not have been made,” said council woman Martha Castilleja.

So far the city of Hearne has paid the law firm roughly $75,000. That includes an average of about $1,200 for an attorney to travel to the city for meetings.

Council members moved to hold off on the payment of the bill for a special workshop, even suggesting the $43,000 bill be withdrawn from the law firm. That decision will be made at a later date.

Interim city manager John Naron says the city still needs to hire a replacement law firm to represent the city in an ongoing legal case.

Tuesday the board moved to advertise their search for a new attorney in the newspaper for 30 days.