The city of Spokane has hired the law firm of Kutak Rock to act as the city attorney’s office in the lawsuit brought against the city by former police Chief Frank Straub in relation to his forced resignation.
Brian Coddington, the mayor’s spokesman, said the move was done to avoid conflicts of interest, due to city Attorney Nancy Isserlis being named in Straub’s suit.
Michael McMahon, a private attorney, will continue to represent the city in Straub’s claim, but usually the city attorney’s office provides administrative oversight, management and advice to outside firms. Instead, Kutak Rock will act in this role. Former Mayor Dennis Hession, an attorney, will be the city’s primary contact at the firm.
“The firm, for all intents and purposes, is acting as the city attorney as it relates narrowly to the functions of the office that may pertain to the city and lawsuit,” Coddington said. “We want to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.”
Kutak Rock will report to Tim Dunivant, the city’s finance director, and assistant city attorney Sam Faggiano will be the city’s liaison to the firm. The contract is for up to $48,700.
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