What are Sioux Falls taxpayers paying in legal fees? Good question.

As you know, the Argus Leader is embroiled in a Supreme Court case with the city over a secret settlement involving the siding on the Events Center. The city has also been involved with class action suits in recent years which involved millions in settlements, but for some reason, we as taxpayers have no idea how much the city spends on these lawsuits, yet in Rapid City, they not only give us the numbers, they even conclude they may lose the case.

Over that time, the city has spent $374,200 on legal fees. Now, after deciding to appeal a Jan. 27 ruling by a Pennington County jury that absolved Big Sky LLC of any responsibility for the roads, the city expects to sink another $10,000 to $20,000 into a legal battle with an uncertain outcome against a development company that its owner says has no money.

And I think this is a good comparison. Rapid City is a SD city, and the second largest in the State. So why do they see no problem and no legal ramifications with offering this information to their fine citizens, but for some reason we won’t do it in Sioux Falls?



6 comments ↓

#1 Larry on 04.17.17 at 6:47 pm

Probably just to irritate you Detroit.

#2 Rufusx on 04.18.17 at 7:11 am

Same reason that SF is the only city in the state (maybe the country) that doesn’t allow access to its city web site from outside the US.

#3 T on 04.18.17 at 8:30 am

Doesn’t the SD Public Assurance Alliance cover our legal needs? What does SF pay into the SDPAA? Does SF have to pay more if our bills run higher?
The SDPAA is a little known entity that is a big deal!

#4 The D@ily Spin on 04.18.17 at 8:58 am

One way to measure the size of city legal problems is the the size and budget of the city attorneys office. It went from 3 to 30 staff size during Huether. Not only do they usually lose (city government is unconstitutional) but they stall through legal wrangling. It’s time for a new mayor who will expose and settle what the mafia-like city attorney is hiding.

#5 Bruce on 04.18.17 at 9:27 am

Great question T. The SD Assurance Alliance pays most of the Sioux Falls legal bills but it is almost impossible to break out the the cost to us. Fiddle Faddle told us a while back he doesn’t know how much the city legal expenses are and there is no way to track them. Each department hires “consultants” to do their legal work if the overpaid and over staffed City Attorney’s office can’t handle the issue (would you be surprised how little the city attorney’s office really does?). The city of Sioux Falls actually has a larger legal department then many towns much larger than ours.

The city of Sioux Falls is technically a corporation with no criminal department like the Minnehaha County States Attorney.

The town of Sioux Falls should eliminate 9 of the 10 city attorney positions and just up front hire a law firm to to the real legal work. The City Council should have legal to assist in wiring the ordinances and give independent advice. Quit the farce of hiring attorneys at more than $!.5 million per year to push paper and abuse citizens.

#6 The D@ily Spin on 04.18.17 at 1:02 pm

There’s deception without TRANSPARENCY when the mayor hides behind a crowd of lawyers the public pays for.

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