They sure do seem to like flushing their money away in Farmers Branch.
The Farmers Branch City Council will spend nearly a half-million dollars more to cover the cost of legal fees incurred by two groups that have challenged the city’s ordinances on illegal immigration.
Since 2006 to Tuesday’s council decision, the city has spent about $2 million on legal fees related to illegal immigration.
Mayor Tim O’Hare and attorney Pete Smith declined to comment on the mediated settlement of $250,000 with the Villas at Parkside Partners and $220,000 with Alfredo Vasquez and the American Civil Liberties Union.
“We are grateful to have settled the matter of attorneys’ fees in our first case against the city of Farmers Branch. Now we can concentrate on current litigation,” said Lisa Graybill, legal director of the ACLU of Texas.
Note that these fees are from the lawsuit that resulted from the original Farmers Branch ordinance, Ordinance 2903, which was permanently struck down in May and for which the final settlement was reached in August. There is a separate lawsuit for the successor to this ordinance, Ordinance 2952, for which a temporary injunction was issued in September. When Farmers Branch loses that suit, and the judge in question, the same one for 2903, has said he’d be inclined to strike this one down as well, they’ll be on the hook for more fees. And there’s yet another suit stemming from open records requests for the invoices associated with all these bills. At this rate, they may top $5 million spent on this utter folly.
What’s funny about this is that the same type of people who bitch and moan about every penny the city of Houston wants to spend on this program or that seem to be just fine with Farmers Branch spending its money in this fashion. I guess it’s all a matter of what your priorities are.