The Bickel & Brewer Storefront law firm submitted a bill for $850,000 this week in federal court for its share of costs in the successful challenge to the constitutionality of the ordinance. A second legal team is expected to submit a bill for a similar sum this month.
Already, Farmers Branch has spent about $3.2 million to defend itself since September 2006, when it launched the first of three ordinances. The city has budgeted $623,000 for legal expenses through the rest of the fiscal year related to the ordinance defense.
The city also has been sued in state court for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act involving the crafting of the ordinance.
That means legal costs on immigration ordinances could exceed $5 million by the end of the 2010 fiscal year on Sept. 30.
If this drags on much longer, they’ll wind up spending enough to have bought Lakewood Church. You’d think in an economy like this a city might have better things to do with its money, but that’s Farmers Branch for you.
By the way, Farmers Branch municipal elections will be in May. A number of sane, reform-minded folk have run for office there in recent years. They have unfortunately not had any success, but you can’t win if you don’t try. My blogging about Farmers Branch and its ridiculous assault against mostly harmless and powerless people living there caught the attention awhile back of a local resident named Kat Holmes, who has decided to run for Council herself this year. If anyone else reading this is a resident of Farmers Branch, I hope you’ll consider supporting her candidacy. Good luck to you, Kat!