WILLIAMSON COUNTY - Taxpayers in Williamson County are likely to pay a hefty tab as commissioners defend themselves against a civil rights lawsuit.
KXAN’s investigation revealed commissioners asked questions of candidates for the Precinct 3 Constable post that raised eyebrows and caught the attention of civil rights advocates.
Robert Lloyd was among those interviewed for the vacated constable post. Represented by lawyers with the Texas Civil Rights Project, KXAN reported Lloyd filed a lawsuit in June.
“The majority of the interview took place asking me what my political affiliation was, my views on abortion, my views on gay marriage, long conversation about my religion,” Lloyd told KXAN.
At their July 1 meeting, Williamson County commissioners unanimously agreed to hire the law firm Bracewell Giuliani to represent them against Robert Lloyd's lawsuit.
In an email statement, a Williamson County spokesperson tells KXAN "it is standard for them to hire outside counsel to get expertise or just additional assistance due to the workload of the county attorney's Office."
When asked how Commissioners chose Bracewell Giuliani to represent them, the spokesperson wrote "the County Attorney's Office had recommended the firm due to their expertise in Constitutional law."
On July 9, lead counsel on the case for Bracewell Giuliani sent commissioners a letter detailing several aspects of their attorney-client agreement. Jay Aldis included standard fees for the attorneys and staff involved in the case:
- $350 per hour for Aldis, a partner with the firm.
- $275 an hour for an associate attorney
- $175 dollars an hour for the work of a paralegal.
The letter details a litany of other potential costs and states: “...any estimate is subjcct to the understanding that, unless we agree otherwise in writing, it does not represent a maximum, minimum, or fixed-fee quotation. The ultimate cost frequently is more or less than the amount estimated.”
KXAN will keep tabs on the amount taxpayers are billed in defending the lawsuit and keep you posted as the lawsuit proceeds.
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