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Reality Check: Doling out more of your tax dollars for lawyers in Mobile

(IMG: WPMI)

One city councilman says he needs his own attorney in an on-going legal dispute, even though the council already has an attorney. This all stems over the firing and re-hiring of council spokeswoman Marion Steinfels.

Mayor Sandy Stimpson fired her in October. The council then re-hired her, against the mayor's objections. Just this month the mayor sued the council saying they're violating the law by hiring her.

Council member Joel Daves says since he objected to the re-hiring of Steinfels, he can't be represented by the council's attorney. And since it's the mayor suing, he can't use the mayor's attorney either. Tuesday, fellow council members agreed and voted to allow Daves to hire his own attorney, using tax dollars.

Attorney Archibald Reeves, will collect $200 an hour and $75 an hour for paralegal work. That's more than what the council's current attorney makes. Attorney Wanda Cochran is paid $150 an hour.

"We don't intend to take a very active part in it. My interest is to maintain those expenses at the lowest level possible," said Daves.

The council says mediation in the case will begin soon, possibly next month.

In the meantime, Steinfels is working for the council but on a voluntary basis. She's not getting paid.

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