Fort Wayne City Council Arguments Continue

By Nicole Pence

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 21, 2008 at 7:24 PM EDT

Going from two lawyers to one. That's what the Republican President of Fort Wayne’s City Council wants to see happen, but one Democrat says it's partisan politics at it's finest. City Council reporter Nicole Pence explains.

Because of the legal choices the body makes on almost a weekly basis, Council must have a part-time lawyer sitting at every meeting. President Tom Didier tells me he along with the other four republicans, caucused a few weeks ago to decide the attorney position should be cut from two people to one.

Didier confirms he called long-standing attorney Phil Larmore to tell him the party would not nominate him this year to continue as lawyer. Instead, Joe Bonahoom will be the party's choice. Larmore tells Indiana’s NewsCenter he's fine with the plan and it will save the city roughly 10-thousand dollars.

But, Councilman Tim Pape, argues, the republicans, had no right to decide that before the executive committee meets tomorrow to discuss possible appointments. Pape believes "council is getting off to the wrong foot" and, he's calling for a majority and minority lawyer to be appointed.

Tim Pape/(D) 5th District Councilman: "The lawyer needs to represent everybody's interest. Not just one sides interests, the body as a whole. When one side has decided on who the lawyer will be, it necessarily impacts the representation of the other members."

Tom Didier/ (R) Council President: "I was just trying to make it more efficient. Why is it all of the sudden he is questioning it now and he didn't four years ago? "

A political analyst tells Indiana’s NewsCenter, state law will only be violated, if Council doesn't take a formal vote on who will be the lawyer, after the nominations are called at Tuesday’s meeting. President Didier says that's on the agenda.

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