By Ashley Graves
The Cullman Times
The North-central Alabama Regional Council of Governments (NARCOG) is looking for new legal representation.
During it’s latest regularly scheduled meeting, the board decided to cut ties with its current representatives, Audrey Dupont and Anthony Joseph of Maynard, Cooper & Gale in Birmingham, due to cost.
“They’re very expensive,” interim executive director Stefanie Franklin told the board. “We’ve paid out a lot of money for legal representation in the past and we don’t need to continue doing that.”
In the past, the law firm has worked with NARCOG on its conflict of interest policy, as well as their policy and procedure manual. They’ve also dealt with several past issues the organization has had within the past year. Franklin said Dupont charges the organization $300 per hour, while Joseph charges $420 an hour. She added those fees don’t include any type of paralegal NARCOG has paid, which has been upwards of $175 per hour.
“I just prefer someone local,” Franklin said.
Morgan County board member Larry Wade suggested Franklin check with other COGs around the state to see who they use for legal advice.
“See what the rate is they’re paying, and put it into perspective of where they’re at, and where we’re at,” Wade said.
Decatur mayor Don Kyle added, “I also suggest that we ask what kind of issues they’ve had come up that require legal council so that we can anticipate what the future may bring and what type of attorney make sense for us.”
More discussion on the issue is expected at the April 24 meeting in Decatur.
Ashley Graves can be reached by phone at 734-2131, ext. 225, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org