LCG drops suit against City Court’s lawyer & More Latest News

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Lawyers for Lafayette Consolidated Government have dropped a lawsuit filed in August against City Court’s lawyer; the suit claimed the lawyer failed to show over public information requested by LCG.

The dismissal, “with prejudice” – which suggests LCG cannot revive it later – was filed on Friday, Clerk’s information present. It says that each one prices might be assessed to LCG. There’s no details about the rationale for the dismissal, however we reached out to the attorneys representing LCG, to lawyer Gary McGoffin and to City Court Judge Douglas Saloom for extra data.

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In a phone interview, LCG City Attorney Greg Logan tells KATC that the town has the information wanted now. He says the e-mail notifying them that the information in query have been prepared by no means obtained to him. He mentioned he later requested McGoffin what occurred, and did not get a response.

The court docket report contains a number of emails filed by LCG displaying a back-and-forth between McGoffin and Logan, discussing difficulties with a USB drive, in addition to an April 2022 electronic mail from Logan to McGoffin asking what occurred with the request; McGoffin mentioned he’d examine on it. It is the place of LCG and Logan that he obtained no response after that.

Documents supplied by Saloom do present letters from McGoffin to Logan after that April electronic mail, asking for a standing on the audit that Logan had requested the information for.

Saloom despatched us the next assertion:

“The filing of the suit by Mr. Logan was unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money. The requested documents sat waiting for his review for months but he chose to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit rather than just making an appointment to review the documents and copying what was found to be of interest to his non-independent auditors.

“At taxpayer expense and with out Joint Council approval as required by LCG Charter, the Administration continues to audit the Court even if the Louisiana Legislative Auditors reviewed the Court’s expense information and located nothing to analyze. While the Court hopes that the dismissal places an finish to your entire charade, prudence dictates in any other case. All Court monetary transactions are, and can proceed to be, independently audited and forwarded to each the Legislative Auditors workplace and LCG.”

Back in August, attorneys for McGoffin had filed an exception to the suit, which was set for argument next week. In the exception, those lawyers argue that the suit names the wrong defendant, is filed on behalf of the wrong party, and is moot.

McGoffin is the attorney for City Court, not the custodian. Public records requests are filed with the custodian of those records, which in this case would be someone at Lafayette City Court, and thus if the request isn’t filled the suit must be filed against that custodian. That means, the exception argues, the suit was filed against the wrong person.

Also, it was Logan who made the request, meaning he was the person who had “standing” to file the suit. It was instead filed on behalf of LCG, meaning it was filed by the wrong entity, too. And lastly, the suit is moot because the records had been available to LCG since a couple weeks after the request was made, the exception argues.

The exception requests that the suit be dismissed with prejudice and at LCG’s cost. That’s what the LCG dismissal filed Friday accomplished.

The suit was filed back in August, alleging that Lafayette City Court and its attorney, McGoffin, violated the public records law by failing to provide financial documents to LCG. Shortly after that, Saloom issued a lengthy public statement, alleging that LCG had access to those records since November 2021.

McGoffin has represented various local news organizations in several separate cases involving LCG’s failure to comply with public records laws. He was the attorney who handled the public records suit filed by The Independent against former City Marshal Brian Pope, which led to Pope’s indictment and conviction on several charges. More recently, McGoffin also has sued LCG on behalf of a family disputing the city’s quick-take drainage process. And just last month he filed suit against LCG on behalf of several media groups after the Guillory administration began charging the media $1 per page for electronic documents.

In this case, LCG accused the court and McGoffin of failing to respond to a request for records that were needed for a forensic audit of the court’s finances. The request was made in November 2021. The Metairie auditing firm hired by LCG to look into the spending at the court requested some specific records, and LCG in turn requested them from McGoffin. Those records were never provided, the LCG suit alleged.

But a 34-page document forwarded to the media by City Court Judge Doug Saloom just after the lawsuit was filed stated that the records were made available just a week or so after the request. Because the cost of reproducing those records as requested by LCG would have exceeded $1,500.00 of taxpayer money, the court said that the auditor could come look at them or pay for the copies, the judge said.

Saloom also noted that he had received a call from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office about a similar complaint received, but their investigation “discovered nothing” that may set off an entire audit or any report in any respect. To learn the unique suit, and Saloom’s assertion, click on right here.

LCG drops suit against City Court’s lawyer

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LCG drops suit against City Court’s lawyer

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LCG drops suit against City Court’s lawyer

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