It's too late baby | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 24, 2007

It's too late baby

Posted By on Fri, Aug 24, 2007 at 1:47 PM

The Little Rock School District comic legal opera continues. The parents who loved Superintendent Roy Brooks because "he got us out of court" just keep on suing. This is the taxpayers' suit arguing that severance pay is unconstitutional in Arkansas.

As you know the School Board and Brooks settled their differences with a $635,000 payout this week and he cleared out yesterday.

Today, lawyers in the illegal exaction case got an ex parte order from the vacationing Supreme Court to halt that payment temporarily, at least until the court could hear some of their arguments on the appeal of a decision they lost in circuit court.

Oops. Too late. The money is gone, except some $54,000 due to state and federal tax authorities and if anybody has to be paid, the tax man does. The lawsuit doesn't name the people who have the money. So what you have now is a lawsuit seeking from the School Board tax money to repay tax money. And, as the final  agreement makes clear, this payment was in settlement of Brooks' litigation over his firing, a neat turn of phrase intended to negate any argument, however empty, about the invalidity of severance pay.

What next? Maybe the taxpayers' lawyers,  John Gill Esq. and Co. could go over to Williams and Anderson and demand that Brooks' lawyers turn over their $193,000 legal fee check. They better bring their lunch.

Chip Welch, the School Board's attorney, argues that the issue is now moot. Except for appeal on the merits. Should the taxpayers win that, by the way, it would seem they'd have a situation where they'd have to get the money out of Roy Brooks and his lawyers. A sweet deal for the LR School Board majority, perhaps, if the taxpayers suit prevailed. They'd be rid of Brooks and get their money back. And since protecting taxpayers is what this lawsuit is all about, I'm sure the attorneys wouldn't seek any fees for doing this important work. (Sarcasm intended in last sentence.)

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