The one thing Mayor Miller never did was to place something in writing. All answers were given by someone else in writing or she would contact who she needed by telephone or in person to tell them what she required. That was the case with Ms. Logan.
In the Civil Rights Suit against the Town, Ms. Logan was the Town’s attorney, not Joe and my attorney who was Gary Edinger, esquire. Since there was hearsay evidence and false statements, Ms. Logan and I did not leave on a good basis. Yet, when Mayor Miller asked me to contact her, I did and advised her to contact Helen Miller for the position of Town Attorney..
You will recall with White Springs reputation when Frederick Koberlein, esquire, resigned, no attorney responded to our ads so then Mayor Rhett Bullard asked for Karen Hatton to apply after the deadline. Mr. Bullard’s reasoning was to have Karen Hatton go after us for money for supposed unpaid judgments all relating to Chapter 119’s where everything was dismissed. Well Joe paid thousands of dollars and received all the necessary satisfactions of judgments so Ms. Hatton found herself with an ethics problem since she also was an ASA for the third Judicial Circuit and was found to have railroaded Joe and I along with Helen Miller and Tracy Rodriquenz. As a result Karen Hatton was removed as an ASA two or three years prior to her collecting retirement. She also resigned as our Town Attorney after my letter to her.
Originally when Meagan Logan provided a proposal to the Town of White Springs her firm required a $4,200 monthly retainer fee for general services such as reparation, attendance and follow-up from regular meetings. This monthly, flat-fee retainer will also include assistance and advice on general matters that arise including human resources issues and questions, general strategy questions. Sunshine law inquiries and the like.
The monthly retainer fee did not include .litigation or larger projects requested of the law firm. It also, excluded out-of-pocket expenses to be paid by the law firm. Those expenses will be submitted on an invoice on a monthly basis. However it appears in negotiations with then Mayor Miller, the retainer fee was $2,700 a month instead of $4,200.
In securing copies of Meagan Logan’s billings it was found that the hours which promulgated the $2,700 retainer amount had been exceed quite frequently. Part of this was due to the fact that Meagan Logan was being asked to handle much of the clerical work that Tommie Jones or his assistant if any should have handled.
Specifically Ms. Logan rewrote areas of our personnel manual as well as making an application and handling correspondence relating to benefits after termination for Ms. Bryant as well as letters relating to claims on behalf of Mayor Miller to First Federal, which the latter included falsification.
Ms. Logan as an attorney should have never set a precedence of herself, being clerical help for the Town. In fact it was degrading. The only thing she should have been doing was giving advice to Jones or the council. In fact when Councilwoman Nicole Williams called Ms. Logan out for favoring Mayor Miller but not working with the rest of the Council, Ms. Logan mentioned that what she did for the Town of White Springs was over and above of what she should have done as an attorney. This was the meeting held the third week of December due to Jacqueline Williams recovery from rotor cuff surgery. Ms. Logan almost in tears complained that she did not have to do the clerical portions she did had it not been to assist the Town of White Springs. In the majority of cases, Mayor Miller had requested her to assist Jones with these clerical items.
I found out after the meeting that Ms. Logan did not answer an urgent request by Jacqueline Williams relative to notice of a meeting.
Thereafter apparently Interim Manager Vanessa George had a problem with Ms. Logan.
Not knowing any of this, I then sent Ms. Logan an email dated December 16, 2020, questioning her ethics and subsequently on December 17th, Meagan L. Logan Esq gave notice by Electronic Mail only to the Three Council Members Anita Rivers Vice Mayor, Jacqueline Williams Councilwoman and Nicole Williams Councilwoman, stating “Pursuant to Paragraph 6 of the Legal Agreement between the Town of White Springs and Douglas & Carter, this letter serves as written notification of our intent to terminate the Agreement with the Town in 90 days. We will serve as legal counsel for the Town until March 17, 2021 unless the Town desires to end the relationship at an earlier date” And as it was on December 22nd, the council voted to terminate the relationship effective that date.”
I also learned something else when I was speaking to someone in the know about attorneys of the area. The conversation started with the discussion of Joel F. Foreman’s charge of $300 an hour if the Town would require assistance and thereafter when the advertisement for a Town Attorney is placed and all candidates are considered even Mr. Foreman, the price would go down to the usual municipal rate. What I was told was the usual municipal rate was $140-150 an hour, but all the candidates we interviewed at the time Ms. Logan was hired wished a fee of $225 an hour…so either he is wrong or everyone else is fleecing our municipality.
The charges for Town attorneys Meagan Logan, Vernon Douglas, Sara Carter and Patrick Douglas were billed at a rate of $225.00 per hour. Assistant attorneys Sean Crisafulli, Seth Nix and Worth Ellis would be billed at an hourly rate of $175.00. Paralegals and paraprofessionals Kalen Harding, Tiffany Redd and Sally Rodriguez would be billed at a rate of $80.00 per hour.
Unlike the other Attorney candidates, Douglas & Carter did not charge for reimbursable expenses such as word processing, photocopying and faxing. The town would only be responsible for such additional expenses paid by Douglas & Carter such as postage, deposition expense, court costs and expert fees.
Additional Services, Douglass & Carter proposes that all additional services which are not included in the monthly retainer fee shall be billed at the rates set forth of $225.00 for partner-level attorneys and $175.00 for associate attorneys.
Douglas & Carter proposed a rate increase of 5% each year from the Town of White Springs.