IS IT TRUE February 19, 2014


IS IT TRUE we received many inquiries over the last several months from our readers concerning the accurate accounting of  all City of Evansville legal work?  …we have also been told by several county and city officials alike that we may be surprised to find out the real costs to out source all city legal work?

IS IT TRUE we understand that the attorney for the Evansville City Council and his part-time administrative assistant’s operating budget is a $77,000 for this year?

Mole #??
Mole #3  

IS IT TRUE if our memory serves us correctly,  the City Council approved about $600,000 for the city legal counsel for this year?  …we have also been told that this figure doesn’t include any general liability claims work, workman comp issues, bond council work, Evansville Airport Authority District work and ERC contracts?

IS IT TRUE posted below are copies of the “Freedom of Information Requests” submitted by the City Council Observer to the City Controller, Evansville Water and Water and Sewer Utilities Department and the Evansville Airport Authority?

IS IT TRUE the City County Observer just presented the City of Evansville Controller office a “Freedom of Information” request asking for the following information?

Please produce copies of checks or a listing of all payments made to all attorneys for legal services , including litigation, provided to the City of Evansville, the Evansville Water & Sewer Utility, the Evansville Metropolitan Development Department/Commission, the Evansville Redevelopment Commission, the Evansville Redevelopment Authority, the City of Evansville Board of Public Works, the City of Evansville Board of Public Safety, the City of Evansville Police Department, the City of Evansville Fire Department, the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Levee Authority District, the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Central Dispatch Department and the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency during 2012 and 2013.  In addition, please produce copies of checks or a listing of all payments made to attorneys who performed legal services relating to City of Evansville bond work concerning any of the above mentioned governmental entities, departments or agencies during 2012 and 2013

IS IT TRUE that the City County Observer just presented the City of Evansville-Water & Sewer Utility Department with a “Freedom of Information” request asking for the following information?


Please provide the City County Observer copies of checks or a listing of all payments made to all attorneys for legal services, including litigation, provided to the Evansville-Water & Sewer Utility during 2012 and 2013, including payment to any attorney for legal services relating to bond work during such years.

IS IT TRUE that the City County Observer just presented the Evansville Airport Authority District with a “Freedom of Information” request asking for the following information?

Please provide the City County Observer with copies of checks or a listing of all payments made to all attorneys for legal services, including litigation, provided on behalf of the Evansville Airport Authority District during 2012 and 2013.

IS IT TRUE once this information is made public we feel it  will be extremely helpful for City Council to discuss and decide either to continue to out source or require the legal work of the city to be done in house?



  1. The “excavation” of this information ought to be “enlightening” to say the least.

    –“and the walls came tumbling down”.

    • Crash: You ain’t seen nothing yet. Someone on this blog was challenging me to define foo,foo dust,So.
      Like the “gibberish”of that reference,also.
      We have been trying like hell to find its atomic number,and photo spectrographic and chromatic charting signature.
      We find that, and I’ll also tell how much foo,foo,dust it takes to fill a golden shovel moment.or create enough gibberish to go under a shiny hard hat.

      Thermodynamically that is,in relation to the SEER rating it might achieve for efficient operations per /BTUs exchanged /the energy expended.
      (COP)Coefficient of performance is a more universal dimensionless measure,guess we could throw that in,as well.

      • The foo foo dust can be found under the unicorn next to the large pile of discarded taxpayers. In case you encounter multiple unicorns, just look for the one farting rainbows.

        The atomic number is infinity. Which seems appropriate given Evansville endless inabilities to get their shit together. The results of spectrograph and chromatic testing will be useless as they will be filled data making no sense… unless you use a Ouija board as the deciphering tool but only if operated by Evansville politicians.

        Calculation of the SEER rating will confound the global warming religionists as it will indicate the universe is indeed in a cool down phase which is reinforced by the clear entropy displayed by Evansville politicians.

        The Coefficient Of Performance will reveal Evansville politics to be bigger on the inside but empty on the same scale as the Universe but this should not be confused or taken as any correlation to Life, Universe and Everything.

        • V-is-to-R ,and dveatch,—-both your responses have answered ever one of the questions I had. Thanks, and–Bravo!

      • Again, you misunderstand Ol’ Feller, I didn’t challenge you define foo foo dust–I called you out on your “solutions”. I have the perfect gadget moving forward,., to ensure free attorney’s fees for the billions and billions of people in Vanderburgh County,., thermodynamicly speaking forward. But I have an exclusive license for secret technology that I can’t share because it’s mine all mine. There is no need to explain it because it sells itself.

        You want it all, but you just can’t have it. It’s in your face, but you can’t grab it.
        –Faith No More

        • A man develops a potentially billion dollar technology, and you want him to post the specifics of it on an internet forum?

          So… who isn’t making sense again?

  2. It is not clear to me why the CCO has to be the research arm for the City Council ? Why wouldn’t the City Council just request the documents ? They are entitled to all of the documents the Administration has.

    Please explain. The fact that the CCO has to do the legwork tells me that the City Council doesn’t want to dirty their hands with this topic. They may SAY they want to dig in and get to the truth, but they also said that about Johnson Controls, The Fraud Center, etc.

    More empty rhetoric ?

    • I wonder how many hours are billed by the city’s two contracted law firms for time spent dealing with frivolous inquiries and extended meetings due to long winded microphone hogs.

  3. I wonder how much that cowboy Billy Bolin has and will cost the taxpayer in legal fees with his shennanigans. I still have to wonder if anyone in a real job could fail so badly and not get any sort of reprimand. In a real job, you’d likely be fired much less get off scott free like Bolin.

    • It would be interesting to compare this against former chiefs. I’d bet that there’s not a noticable spike in these expenses under Chief Bolin. Furthermore, his advocacy and eventual implementation of body-worn cameras is the best move that I’ve seen to avoid future legal problems for the department.

        • The article that you linked was written over a month after the George Madison incident. I had conversations with Chief Bolin before that incident where he was trying to get the expense approved. The Madison incident brought it to everyone’s attention and EPD used confiscated drug money to purchase them. Brad Linzy supported the idea and I think that most smart people think that it was a good idea.

          • I read somewhere (on the interweb) that police complaints dropped as much as 88% in places that use the body-cameras for cops.

            Who would not want to support a great idea.

            What would be the procedure if a citizens wants to review the recording of their traffic stop?

            Would the videos be public record?

    • Hey Ghost! None of that matters to Bolin. He’s too busy posing for his Dons Claytons billboard on Diamond and St. Joe. And then there’s our fire chief on First and Diamond. Do we have public officials or rock stars?

    • It would be interesting to see how he would stack up against Ray Hamner, a former police chief. Bet Billy would win hands down. If Billy was a democrat you would consider him the greatest ever. When I move from Evansville and do a demographics check for my new home, the first thing I will check is the liberal to conservative ratio. That is a good way to check on the financial stability and level of criminal activity. Why are democrat controlled city and states so trashy? You don’t have to research for this information, it’s self evident.

        • Yes, indeed. Pov seems to see everything in terms of political party, and democrats are all bad and republicans are all good.

          • With the current Republican party I cannot agree with you saying they are all good or even point in that direction. Hardly, far to many of them are Democrats in Republican clothing.

            Honestly though I do think far to much of the cities problems are caused by politics based on that division of party loyalty. Equally of the cities problem is the seeming endless mayors and on down the administration chain trying to leave some legacy at the citizens expense.

          • Maybe the democrats are republicans in democrat clothing? Point is, local level party affiliation is irrelevant. You’re either in the club or not. Your idiotic gumdrop dreams of Jonathan Weaver dancing in the moonlight with Barack Obama just goes to show how delusional you are. You need to dissect the two ideas. I’ve talked to many “democrats” around here that hate the poor and minorities, welfare, etc and you have this stupid visuals of all democrats loving “communism.”

          • @ dveatch: My comment was meant to be pov’s “take” on things as I see it, not my own. On a local basis, I see no real party-related difference. We have people who are somewhere on the good to bad continuum, and I see little relationship between their party identity and where they fall on the continuum. It appears to me that pov thinks party has everything to do with it.

  4. CCO: Tim Ethridge said in Sunday’s C&P that THEY, The Evansville F’ing Courier, would be publishing an article on the City’s Legal Bills.

    Will you beat them to the punch ? Would it be fair to say if the City drags its feet on the FOIA (which they always do, including having an attorney look at each one), the citizens will be treated to the SOFTBALL version of the legal bills story by C & P; that will give the officials cover to say “Nothing here, let’s move on”; and by the time the CCO gets any information from the City it will already be Game Over before the REAL STORY is in print ?

    Say it ain’t so, Shoeless Joe !

    • There is a big difference in “publishing an article” with the usual Courier “spin” and in telling the whole, unvarnished truth. I don’t envision truth from the Courier.

      • Good point and one among others pointing me here to CCO. I’m sure CCO has its warts, everything does but those worn by the C&P are of the variety that you cannot look away for they are hideously mesmerizing.

      • DOn’t expect much truth from the newspaper nor the tv news. Local news around here is nothing but puff pieces imported in from other parts of the country. No investigative reporting, no dealing with real issues, absolutely nothing negative about the government (local/state/national).

      • If the CP had practiced journalism, we would have Roberts or a more suitable replacement.

        • Yes, I am reminded of the several articles in the C&P re: the “neglected” Roberts Stadium, with my favorites being: the Building Authority guy and Winnecke pensively looking at a small puddle of water just inside the doors to an entrance; the one where Winnecke was contacted (on a Saturday) re: vandals spray painting a window (it was silly string, not paint); and one which showed a photo of the facility from the front at ground level, with carefully placed trash to make it look its possible worst. Which group is the C&P Publisher (Pate) a member of again ?

    • As has happen before, the C&P will publish the polished spin that the administration wants, the CCO will publish the facts with data to back it up once again making the C&P look like the toadies for the city that they really are.

      Fact finding and vetting the data takes more time than just publishing a release crafted by the city and putting your name on it…beating them to the punch has little value when compared to publishing the truth.


      • My favorite was the McGladrey report that turned out to be “just a rough draft” with a watered down version being the “final revised copy.”

        • Thank you for reminding me of McGladrey, Sir.

          Allow me to amend my earlier ‘Empty Rhetoric’ list from City Council:

          1. Johnson Controls;
          2. The Fraud Center;
          3. McGladrey

          Tastes great,less filling (when you only take a nibble, and don’t eat the whole thing).

    • I think that there are enough rational, vocal posters and followers of CCO that we can keep that from happening. Look what happened with the hotel that was a “done deal” once the CCO people jumped on it.
      That may be something of a false equivalency, though. Legal bills are real, and I’m not so sure the hotel will be.

  5. Keep up the good work, CCO. We know that the “competition” would probably refuse to publish the information if the powers-that-be forced it on them, so you are the only reasonable outlet to inform the public about what they are really getting for their tax dollars.

    • Hey Marty, if the C&P’s attorney comes from the City Attorney’s staff, would that be a conflict of interest/or would it merely explain why the C&P prints all the fluff that’s fit to print ?

  6. Marty S the answer is yes. Also a member of Ted Ziemer law firm is also the lead attorney for the Vanderburgh County School Board.

      • Patrick Shoulders is EVSC attorney, C&P attorney and a partner in Ziemers firm. Need a FOIA to EVSC to get the whole picture.

      • Some things never change! Financial/political incest has always been common in these parts.

        • And why does the incest persist ? Neither the citizens or their elected representatives (City Council)take steps to eradicate it ! If you let the personal gains of politicians go on unchecked, it will grow exponentially each year, as it then becomes an ‘entitlement’ to elected office.

          • reverend al i must say i hate your satire….. but after reading the article you posted i am amazed……i worked 2 jobs and payed 14% interest to buy my first property during that time…..while the liberal deadbeats was taking the taxpayers money and did not even have enough decency to repay the taxpayers……they are a disgrace to humanity………..

      • damn you, Blanger; you just HAD to remind us who ‘The Father’ of this project was ! A pox on your household.

        • Sorry….

          Funny how it started out as jobs (even though no meter readers), or how the WiFi portion turned out to be total BS, but then “The Father” did have a way of selling things with no substance didn’t he? Or how about the no rate increase and it being self funding based on a performance contract.

          The question is, as soon as this is implemented how long before Vectren wants to install those fancy controversial smart electrical meters? Both of these type of meters give the advantage of charging customers more for peek usage in prime time which will come a short time after we all get accustom to them.

          But hey! it’s all in the name of efficiency and conservation isn’t it? never mind that background small amount of RF radiation that they emit into your neighborhood or home it shouldn’t be the cause of much concern.


          • Blanger, you have an excellent memory (or you are taking good notes). All I can remember is that Father shoved this down our throats just before leaving office, and the lawyers & attorneys came up with a submission to IURC saying that the City would save $ 87,000 (that’s not the total over 25 years, that is the GRAND TOTAL) while paying $ 60 Million to save that $ 87,000 bucks. Nice investment ! That is all I needed to know about this boondoggle.

            Can you also recall the City Council vote on this project ??

          • Naw…my memory isn’t that good, but I thought Weinzapfel signed the contract (or agreement) in his last days and the vote by council was with the new mayor and council (newly elected or reelected)not sure on the vote, but I thought the deal was changed several times like omitting the WiFi (because it doesn’t work) before the council actually voted to approve it.

            There is still a lot about the deal that isn’t known, like since it’s a very low power signal from the meters a receiver tied to a network will have to be in close proximity to receive the signal (and a lot of those receivers), while most of the neighborhoods have a fiber network owned buy Sigecom (WOW) or Insight (TW) the receivers and network connection to the fiber network hasn’t been discussed.

            I’m sure that neither company is going to allow access to their network for free just as I doubt Vectren is going to allow receivers to be mounted on their utility poles for free or the electricity to power the receivers to be free.

            If that is included in the $60m contract I have no idea, but just having smart water meters broadcasting data does nothing but cause unwanted RF pollution unless something is around to receive the data and forward it along the network to the desired server.

            We won’t even mention the possibility that when replacing the meters they (could) cause water leaks that the homeowner will be responsible to pay for.


          • VR

            If we only had water pipes that could withstand a normal freeze and thaw cycle I could understand wanting to implement the smart meters, in our town it is just more of a lipstick on a pig kind of a solution.

            Hanging a smart meter at the end of aging infrastructure really doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, ok we’ll have nice shiny new meters and everything leading to them leaks like a sieve every-time we have a temperature swing of 40 degrees.


          • Blanger; I hope the last link worked? My old peepers failed me on the first try. Your right about the infrastructure,but that goes just about everywhere in America’s aging,dwindling clean water systems.

            Thats why with a overall plan that includes the sanitary sewers,stormwater management,and the clean water supplies makes more sense. “Do it all incrementally by section.not by each utility so one mustn’t destroy one utilities easement section,to repair,or replace another.*” (blended infrastructure*)

            This winters “Changed Climate” across our nation has also spotlighted the real need to start thinking utility easements should be combined,including the electrical grids….underground. Those set for service accesses forward,as well.
            That methodology flips the numbers on ice storms and strong weather events. Systems become more manageable,and reliable, thus, balanced and with multiple utilities sustainability built in from the project start.*

            I over the years have had the opportunity to get to know many of the Pipe fitters,and Electrical workers in your area personally,through working and recreational sporting activities.

            Really guys the work they do is exemplary as an example of skills and precision for design cost. Hard working people,dependable quality is a standing notation.
            The infrastructure set for Climate Change is the very thing thats going to keep those jobs expanding well into the foreseeable horizon. Probably might be good not to have to exist as a traveling hall so to speak. My thinking anyway.
            The adjustments for climate change at the local power plants and combined production industries carbon management projects pretty much sustains any of that right now.
            An evolving clean water infrastructure vision applied forward would grow that,and then balance the labor needs to sustain it.
            Pure construction trades cutting out and building the networks needed,then the technical balance applied with training as its set for ongoing developments forward by new innovations.

            “foo,foo pipes.”, “gibberish” electrical grids, or just politics?


    • Ha Ha, they have the UNION there as part of the kickoff celebration !!! By chance, does that give any indication as to the reason why this project was green lighted ???

      • Be cause the union is going to get the contract to change the meters. The meters were changed in house when we went to touch read. there are not a lot more meters now then there were then. I can not believe the pipefitters union is going to do this cheaper then our city employees. They make twice as much an hour.

        • You just hit the nail on the head, stoney. The pipefitters union, with bennies, is probably 3X doing it in house. This is simply a gift to the Unions in exchange for their (promised) votes. And the first time you don’t throw meat on the sleigh for the Union, then that vote disappears.

          The union feeds the gaping maw for two more years, and the non-union ratepayers suffer.

          • No they aint there teamsters. Who just let another union steal there peoples work.

          • Yeah, stoned tryin to be nice. Every water and/or sewer employee outside of management is a teamster. In fact, the whole of public employees of Vanderburgh county, outside of management, are teamsters. If you plan to rant, please be accurate, not ignorant.

          • Besides, chances are a non union company could bid on and execute the work if they complied with the Davis Bacon Act. My only point is that the cost doesn’t change. If they want new meters it will cost what it’s going to cost, and you will pay whatever it takes as ratepayer. Cry all you want, the conditions won’t change. If you get so frustrated that you decide to sue the utility, the attorney representing said utility will have the opportunity to bill above the retainer that public budget reflects. He has no motivation to settle with you, bejcause he is compensated by the city. You will lose, but not before your attorney and the utility’s attorney soak you and the city for as much as they can. That is why the fees exceed the budgeted amount like they do. Those contracts are time and material, and ultimately, the attorney controls both.

  7. Off topic but I was glad to see the DMD is redoing the roads around the art district into a round a bout (Hopefully someone will send the drawings to the CCO for publish). This project may look simple but it will completely refocus the neighborhood around it and thus encourage the construction of a better community around it (yea, yea I know gentrification). That area is in desperate need of solutions like this.

    • Anyone notice how bad the potholes are this year? I know we’re approaching the end of winter and they may yet do some work, but damn it seems like a bumpier ride than usual out there.

      • Absolutely! At what point do they cease to qualify as “potholes” and become “sinkholes”? I expect to read about cars being swallowed whole any day now.

        • Come on people the roads have only been clear of ice four days an you want all the pot hole fixed already. I would give them at least a week. :>)

      • Being fair, I’ll give’em a pass on those,Evansville hasn’t got the market cornered on roadway potholes this year.
        Thats going to be a shared trait with any other city that has taken this winters timing with the temperature span assault.

        Rough stuff! Clearing the roads is a big challenge with those conditionals,as well.
        Your region,hasn’t done bad in that aspect.
        Those weather systems that come in wet,and then jump right into sub zero wind chills,slam the programs effectiveness beyond what they can,or,have available to adjust with.

        Sometimes the chemical stuff they use is kinda hard on some surfaces to. Rock salt products, and certain ice melt products,can cause surface pock marks on pavement,or sidewalks. However,sliding into something else traveling the streets is kind of worse. Safety first. In the Evansville metro you really haven’t had any major pileups,due the travel infrastructure,thats a aspect to consider,as well.

        • This has been one of the coldest and wettest winters that I can remember. Last year was mild, so that has caused us to have the spike in water main breaks and craters in our streets.

      • This area has way too many roads for them to keep up with. Besides, billions for a bridge, $25 + mil for a London Bridge on Green River, and $30 mil and counting for the Parkway who’s got money for potholes.

        I would be on board with fixing the ones in the core for the most part. The rest is just the price you pay for over saturated infrastructure that has the technology of the Great Depression.

      • We have had an unusually wet and cold winter. These are the two things that cause potholes. You don’t fix them until you are past the freeze risk. Allen Mounts’ budget is not the only one that will be taking a hit from Jack Frost.

    • Clarification: It will include a “traffic circle”, not a roundabout. Philip Hooper corrected me on this on FB and enlightened me to the difference. A roundabout lets traffic through without stopping. A traffic circle make oncoming traffic stop and is safer for pedestrian traffic which they are trying to promote in the area.

          • I’d like to see them start a similar process all over. The KEB submittals were distinctly aeronautically themed. KEB, The Arts Council and others can hold a new contest for the Arts District. There’s no shortage of artists that would be willing to submit their ideas.

          • I could support that . Would ask that the council notify the sentinels creators . The competition for the building next to the Alambra was an incredible success. They got entries from all over the globe. All projects here should be handled that way.

  8. People in this town do not understand dual turn lanes what will they deal with a traffic circle.

Comments are closed.