Lee plans lawsuit over legal fees - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Lee plans lawsuit over legal fees

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Former MLGW head Joseph Lee plans to sue the city of Memphis after the Memphis City Council refused to pay his legal bills in a vote at Tuesday night's meeting.

Lee has said he would sue if the council didn't approve payment of his legal bill, and Tuesday, his attorney, Robert Spence, said the lawsuit would soon be filed.

Lawsuit or no lawsuit, Memphis City Councilmen Shea Flinn and Myron Lowery have no regrets.  They voted not to pay Lee's $426,000 legal bill.

"We have to be prudent with the taxpayer money, or the ratepayer money in this case," Flinn said.
"The City Council chose not to award him anything," Lowery said. "So he has nothing to lose by going to court and everything to gain."

The feds indicted the former MLGW president claiming he ignored former Councilman Edmund Ford, Senior's hefty utility bill in exchange for council votes.  But the feds dismissed the case without explanation, and Lee wants MLGW to pay his legal bill.

"It's Mr. Lee's right to seek legal redress for this, but I think there is a legal question as to the amount owed," Flinn said.

Flinn believes $426,000 is inflated.  He said he would agree to $75,000 - the bill before the indictment.

Council Chairman Myron Lowery said after consulting with other lawyers and judges, he'd agree to $275,000.
"Quite frankly, I think he is deserved some money, just not the $426,000 that was recommended to the council," Lowery said.
But would a lawsuit would be more costly than paying the money outright?

"Is it possible that we will lose more because he will add more legal bills for filing the lawsuit?  That's a determination that the courts will make," Lowery said.

Spence did not say when he plans to file the lawsuit.

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