Decatur spends thousands on out-of-state lawyer

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - Atlanta lawyer Charles Howard has represented the board for more than 30 years.

He traveled from Georgia to Decatur less than a week after The
Decatur Daily filed a freedom-of-information request to see Chief Financial Officer Gail Busbey's personnel file.

The newspaper obtained Howard's billing records for July showing payments for mileage, lodging and meals.

When asked about finding an attorney closer to Decatur,
Personnel Director Ken Smith said the board has an arrangement with Howard.

The attorney had billed the board nearly $4,100 for services in
July, but Smith said he persuaded him to reduce the bill by about $600.
Information from: The Decatur Daily,

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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