Wednesday, March 21, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
SNELLVILLE -- City attorney bills have been paid in Snellville, but the controversy surrounding the city's lawyer remains.
Mayor Kelly Kautz recently told City Manager Russell Treadway to pay the overdue bill of Stuart Oberman, the man she appointed city attorney when she took office in November.
The City Council never approved Oberman's rates and balked at his bills, causing him to resign from the job last month. Councilman Tom Witts said Kautz had no right to authorize the payment of just under $30,000 with the council questions still pending.
"I don't know what we do," said Witts, the mayor pro tem. "It's just another (example of) not respecting the council members."
But Kautz said the new city attorney Kevin Tallant will present a report at Monday's counicil meeting stating not paying the bill could have put the city in jeopardy of a lawsuit.
Because of the disagreement on Oberman, the council members named their own lawyer, Tony Powell, who had served as the previous city attorney. Witts said that bill has never been turned over to the city, but he said it would be eventually.
For now, both sides are standing behind the new appointment of Tallant.
"We're hoping Mr. Tallant works out and we don't have to use (Powell) much longer," Witts said. "We don't know what happens now. All we know is this has not been done by the book."