Bad timing for a costly legal fight

So far, your city government has spent more than $1 million fighting a lawsuit filed by former Deputy Police Chief William Taylor.

Burbank has lost at every turn, including a bid to overturn the jury’s verdict and award to Taylor of nearly $1.3 million for claims that he faced retaliation for raising questions about internal misconduct and refusing to toe the line on minority employees.

Taylor’s attorney is also asking a judge to force the city to pay his legal team’s fees — a roughly $1.75-million tab.

Taken together, Burbank is now staring at about $4 million.


By the way, the budget gap that had to be closed for next fiscal year? $1.3 million.

Cities, understandably, have always been put in the hard position of weighing the cost of a court fight while also taking into consideration the long-term effects of how settling claims may compromise their legal standing in the future. That’s why when it comes to allegations of harassment and other claims, cities typically stand their ground in court.

But at a certain point, even those cases start to get outweighed by the sheer cost of continuing the legal drama. Even in good economic times, it would be hard to justify continuing the fight against Taylor, so that the City Council this week agreed to let the city attorney file an appeal makes the growing tab loom even larger.