Group Sues for Disclosure of Municipal Legal Bills

Leaders of a local taxpayer group have sued the city for failing to produce complete copies of the city's legal bills.

Thomas Biesek and Robert Cook of South Pasadena Taxpayers Assn. had requested legal bills in June from the law firm of Beltran, Leal & Medina, citing the state's open records law. The city, according to the lawsuit, refused to produce all of the legal bills for the firm, which had been employed as the municipality's city attorney.

"It took us 56 days to get what we did get," Biesek said. "When we got the information, 20 pages of bills were missing."

Biesek said his group became concerned about the legal bills after finding that a survey on whether to build the Long Beach Freeway extension had been included in the legal charges.

City Manager Sean Joyce said Tuesday that sensitive issues were removed from the records.

The case is scheduled to go to court Oct. 19. Since the original request for the bills, the law firm has been replaced.

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