Clarksburg City Council Addresses Legal Fees From Sam Lopez's La - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Clarksburg City Council Addresses Legal Fees From Sam Lopez's Lawsuit

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Clarksburg City Council met Thursday evening and discussed how to pay for legal fees associated with a lawsuit Sam "Zeke" Lopez has brought against council members.

Currently, city liability insurance does not cover the legal fees for that case.

Lopez said he is personally suing each council member, not the council as a whole, and that tax dollars should not be used to pay for their legal defense.

"His seat was lost when he was convicted, and all he's doing now is hurting the city, his family and the city council because the city can't get past this to get any work done," said Debbie Rinehart, Clarksburg resident.

Council members said they are working to get their legal fees covered by the city's liability insurance company.

"We have article 163, which deals with indemnification of officers, agents and employees of the city, so we are going to proceed under that particular article to provide coverage," said Mayor Cathy Goings.

Tax dollars will initially be used out of the general fund to cover the legal fees while council members seek to get those fees covered by the liability insurance company.

Goings said city council's goal moving forward is to continue working with the hotel conference center.  It recently passed that project on to the Urban Redevelopment Authority to conduct a redevelopment plan.  Goings also said an outside party has come in to the city to explore various redevelopment options in the area.