We’d better negotiate with Hatton because no attorney wishes to work for Corrupt White Springs

Mr Koberlein charged $115 per hour and was a civil law attorney .  Karen Hatton has asked for a 25% increase from the $115 per hour cost.  Based upon $115 per hour Koberlein’s billings generated $800-900 and up to $1000 per month whereas Karen Hatton’s billings average $400 per month.
Koberlein made the most money with any litigation.  Like in the River’s case his charge at $140 an hour came over $10,000 when there was another attorney of record.   Stacy Tebo was paid for going after Helen Miller and was able to solicit her own attorney at $250 an hour and he charged over $13,000 but actually did the work, unlike Koberlein who still charged the Town fees for the hearing and preparation.
The Council could have done something about the over-charging years ago.  If there is a Florida Municipal Insurance Trust Attorney involved, why does one have to pay Koberlein or any Town attorney to just sit there and collect $140 an hour or more.  In the Tebo case, Karen Hatton was the Town’s Attorney but the Town attorney cannot sue or make a case against a council member for whom they work and it has never happened that a council would allow payment of an attorney for a contract employee to go after a Councilor.  But this was Rhett’s deal and the $13,000 plus had to be paid from our Local Option Fuel Taxes.  Of course Walter never complained except with respect to Karen Hatton at the last meeting; but of course, he was one of the main people who wanted to place Joe and I behind bars because of the blog, while Shirley and Pam lied about events which Joe wasn’t involved in; but of course most of those at Town Hall have been liars..

 

At one time, I made a complaint about Koberlein’s billings but nothing was done by the Council.  It shows that our council to this day will keep paying legal expenses they not ought to pay:  This complaint was mainly our case against the Town alone.

 

My belief is there would not be the extravagant costs due to litigation, if the Council would take control of  the Town Attorney’ Fees the Town is currently paying Mr. Koberlein.  The reasons are as follows:
  • The Council has used Mr. Koberlein as their personal attorney, whether or not the business at hand warrants his legal expertise.
  • The Councilors contacts Mr. Koberlein on issues the balance of the council members, other than Walter McKenzie, perhaps, are unaware of and have not given full council approval for. Each personal e-mail, each telephone conversation to or from the Councilor and to and from Mr. Koberlein for unauthorized contact costs the town a portion of the $140.00 an hour fee.
  • There is no need for Mr. Koberlein to sit in on depositions in Federal Court Cases at $140.00 per hour when he is not licensed to practice in Federal Court proceedings. Currently there will probably in the area of 25  hours in the Griffin case for depositions only, costing the Town some $3,500 for Mr. Koberlein (in actuality it was over $10,000)to sit at his laptop. Marks Gray P.A. is fully in control of the litigation and they are your attorneys in Federal Cases.  In my opinion, Mr. Koberlein’s  presence at depositions is merely to attempt intimidating any witnesses, when it is obvious he sides with the Town and staff bias.
  • Lawrence is the Town Manager and Town Representative, not Mr. Koberlein . If he (Koberlein) desires to be at such depositions and is not allowed to by full council approval , he should attend without fee to the Town.
  • Koberlein is given 119 requests for which it is not necessary for him (Koberlein) to review except to secure additional funds and ultimately he does not answer the 119’s except to ask for additional money and mention fees the Griffin’s must pay, for no answer whatsoever. My opinion is the Town is wasting money for general questions such as the policy which states “A Citizen has no right to question the council”.  The Town has such a policy and it does not need an attorney’s advice since the attorneys past and present have adhered to the fact that they do not have to follow Sunshine Laws or the Constitution of the State of FL.
  • Koberlein does not have to attend each and every council meeting. Nor does Mr. Koberlein have to attend each and every planning and zoning meeting. If questions arise, the Council may have the Town Manager contact Mr. Koberlein for such advice as may be warranted..
  • Koberlein is spending approximately $500 a month for contacting the Mayor and Megan  Logan of Marks Gray P.A. who was the FMIT attorney for which he (Koberlein) is not the attorney of record. These are unbudgeted funds.
  • a few changes have been made to protect the innocent who unfortunately believed staff and attorneys like Koberlein who would not talk to Joe and made it clear in council meetings to find that Joe in the long run was right.  As for me, Koberlein and I ranted frequently but he did not charge the town for our conversations and e-mails.
So yes Walter McKenzie wants to reduce the increase in Karen Hatton’s requested fees.  On the other hand Karen Hatton costs almost $600 less at the same rate per month.  Yes one can ask if that is the final requirement, but White Springs cannot get attorneys and since Hatton was the number one enemy as an assistant States Attorney who blotched Joe’s case until another ASA came in and realized it was a sham by the Town and Hatton, I normally would not be the one sticking up for her.  But I feel sorry for her and the rates of $115 an hour are really low in spite of the fact that she appears to not have civil law experience and only believed the CPA without reviewing the LOFT Statute.  Frankly I have given up on the Town; if we do not retain Hatton, everyone else knows how corrupt White Springs is and no one wishes to work for us because since Rhett Bullard came in to power he wants malleable attorneys and he did not listen to Koberlein, thus Koberlein left.

 

Karin Griffin

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