Council chairman talks about former MLGW president's lawsuit - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Council chairman talks about former MLGW president's lawsuit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City Council Chairman Myron Lowery spoke Friday about how council members may fight a lawsuit filed by former MLGW head Joseph Lee.

Last month, the council voted no on paying more than $426,000 in legal fees owed by the former MLGW president.  This week, Lee filed a lawsuit against the city of Memphis and each member of the Memphis City Council, asking for full payment of his legal fees, as well as punitive damages.

The council may use more than one attorney to fight the lawsuit.  In fact, due to the fact that Joseph Lee sued everyone on the council individually, there could be as many as 13 different attorneys, one for each councilmen.

Lowery, however, is cautioning against that. Friday, Lowery said he is seeking free legal advice from several attorneys, and will report back to the council at the next meeting how they should proceed.

It could be two attorneys - one representing those who voted in favor of paying Lee, and one who voted against.

In the lawsuit, Lee claims breach of contract and race as factors for the reason that the council denied paying his legal fees.

Lowery, who voted against paying Lee's fees, said race had nothing to do with it.

"I say that he was entitled to some legal assistance. I just didn't feel that full amount was justified," Lowery said. "So this was not a racial vote. It was an integrated vote. It was a vote based on the conscience of every member of this council."

Lowery added there was no breech of contract, because the City Council had no contract with Joseph Lee. But other council members have different opinions on this issue and how to handle it.

Coming up tonight on Action News 5 at 10pm, more on the lawsuit, the council's quandary and how they plan to fight this suit.

Click here to send an email to Andrew Douglas.

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