City of Hamilton attorneys suggest no one is to blame for the soaring costs of legal investigations into safety issues related to the Red Hill Valley Parkway.
City legal counsel Eli Lederman told city councilors on Monday that "extensive questions to be answered by the commission" show how much talk will be given and how many motions will occur during the investigation. said he had no real sense of what was going on.
"I think what we've been trying to achieve, and what we think we've achieved, are the unfortunate aspects of judicial investigations that are so broad in scope," Lederman said.
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last week the legal staff asked councilors to approve arevised estimate of $26 million to $28 millionand an additional outlay cost for the public hearing. .
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An estimated $18 million has been spent on research so far, which will be secured in 2019. $7 million, topping previously revised estimates of $11 million.
The mayor appeared to show buyer remorse during the renewal and reported to the General Affairs Committee that he regretted supporting the review amid rising costs. .
"If I knew then what I know now, would I have decided to submit to judicial review? I think most of us would probably say no," Eisenberger said. rice field.
City attorney Eli Lederman told city councilors that the additional cost was that the investigation began in April rather than January, and that several people had to pay in September and October to have to park. He said it was due to "many different factors," including a change in the schedule of witnesses. Short term inquiry in July.
Lederman also noted that due to behind-the-scenes work related to requesting supporting documents for witnesses, obtaining statements, and "preparatory sessions" of attorneys, the courtroom clock was not in session. He explained that he kept moving.
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Hearings Allow witnesses to testify in an efficient manner and understand documents when they are not done.
The Red Hill Valley Parkway Inquiry (RHVPI) centers around a 2013 city officials report on road surfaces. This document he allegedly buried for six years.
The study indicated that friction levels in some areas of the road were below safety standards and that corrective action was required.
Since the parkway opened in 2007, many crash victims and their families have claimed that years of poor design and maintenance of the parkway led to many accidents.
The City Council has long claimed that the report was never shared.
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To date, more than half of the $18 million spent so far amounts to approximately $9.4 million in legal fees and payments, according to RHVPI's cost summary.
An estimated $6.3 million was spent on outside legal fees, and another $1.5 million was spent on city costs for data collection and hosting.
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Mr. Lederman said the city's attorneys and commission committees recognized the increasing costs of the investigation. and reassign some work to teams with “low billing rates” who said they made some effort to avoid “duplication of effort.”
Overall, there is not much the city can do to mitigate costs at this point, he said.
"The only thing I can recommend is for us to be vigilant, to keep costs down and to make sure that the legal fees associated with this investigation are reasonably spent. I've been doing everything I can, not overdoing it," Lederman said.
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