Council hires new attorney firm for City

By KATE LUDLOW

Following a 60-minute executive session, the Liberty Hill City Council voted unanimously during a special meeting Monday to terminate the contract with Russell and Rodriguez, LLC, the current City Attorney firm.

Byron Tippie was not present Monday when the Council voted to terminate the contract, and to allow no more than 15 days as a transition period.

Although the item appeared on the agenda for private discussion in executive session, there was no discussion in public and no explanation given as to why the contract was being terminated.

Following that vote, the Council voted 4-0 on a motion made by Councilman Sammy Pruett to “accept the engagement letter for legal services for the Bojorquez Law

Firm.” The Austin-based firm is owned by Alan J. Bojorquez.

According to its website, the firm specializes in the representation of city governments. Of those cities that are clients of the firm are Granger, Jarrell, Thorndale, Drippings Springs, West Lake Hills and Arlington, among others.

The Council also voted 4-0 on a motion by Councilmember Vicki Brewer to authorize Crane and Pruett to negotiate a contract with Pete McKinney for administrative consulting and building inspector services, with the guidance of the new law firm.

Though the Council voted to accept the Letter of Engagement with the Bojorquez Law Firm, at press time, a copy was unavailable. There was no discussion in public meeting as to the firm’s proposed professional fees or terms of a contract.

Also unavailable was a proposal for services submitted to the City by McKinney prior to the Council’s July 9 meeting.

The issues of retaining a law firm and the consulting services of McKinney first appeared on the Council’s July 9 meeting agenda and were discussed in executive session, but no action was taken at that time.

In response to an Open Records Request for the documents by The Independent, City Secretary Tammy Kirk said, “I spoke with Jamie (Williamson, Mayor) and she indicated that the attorney (Bojoroquez ) has not signed anything and we are still in negotiations with him (Bojoroquez ) and with Pete (McKinney), so we can’t release them.”

The Council also voted 3-2 to authorize a change order for water Wells 6 and 7 to include a $5,000 payment to Tom Arnold Drilling. Council members Pruett and Wendell McLeod were the dissenting votes, with Mayor Williamson voting to break the tie.

The Council also tabled a motion to approve a completion contract for Wells 6 and 7, for approximately $217,000 for drilling expenses. Mayor Williamson moved to table the item as a copy of the bid was not in the meeting packets, and she said the Council did not have enough time to review it before agreeing to it.

The Council meets again at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 23, at the Municipal Court Building.