City owes $55,000 legal bill for pending lawsuit

When Historic City News reporters reviewed the consent agenda for the St Augustine City Commission regular meeting tomorrow night, one of the items slated to be approved, without public discussion, is a nearly $55,000 invoice, including the 61-90 day past due amount, for costs and legal services rendered by the Gunster Law Firm.

In addition to the salaries of two full-time attorneys, the City of St Augustine routinely contracts outside, private law firms to handle various legal matters — like the Wendler’s Bert Harris Private Property Rights Protection Act lawsuit, and a First Amendment law firm to consult on constitutional issues surrounding the ban on St George Street buskers and artists in the Plaza de la Constitution.

This five-figure invoice represents charges due to Gunster relevant to the pending Whetstone vs City of St Augustine lawsuit. The city hired the big-league 165-attorney West Palm Beach Gunster law firm, who merged with the heavyweight Pappas, Metcalf, Jenks and Miller last year, to represent the city over the sovereign lands issue.

Whetstone is represented by local attorney George McClure.

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