What’s New In City Hall?

Among other topics to be discussed at the Pensacola City Council meeting today is whether to hire a law firm to sue BP for damages. You will recall that days before the recent local election, it was disclosed that there was a good possibility that the City might hire the Levin, Papantonio law firm to represent them in a suit against BP for ‘damages.’

The knee jerk reaction to that story was immediate and contrary. The Pensacola News Journal pulled the story and issued a correction. The nexus being that the name of the law firm (a huge advertiser in the paper) was not mentioned by city councilman Larry Johnson.

Councilman Johnson does have a connection to a local environmental group known as the Emerald Coastkeepers. He is on their board of trustees. And the chairman of the Emerald Coastkeepers is none other than mass tort lawyer and liberal talk radio host Mike Papantonio. Who, just days after the explosion made it known that it was his goal to hold Dick Cheney and the Bush administration responsible.

What happened next? “City Manager Al Coby said several firms have contacted city officials.” Really? Would Councilman Johnson be one of them? Would Levin, Papantonio be one of the firms?

Another blog known to be ‘up’ on local politics had this to say about it.

BP Legal Counsel: Staff has been meeting with the Levin firm and is recommending them to handle the city’s BP claims on a contingency basis. The Levin firm supported Ashton Hayward. Wiggins and Diane Mack rarely vote against a staff recommendation. Will they this time?

Why sue BP? File your claim already. There is $20 billion set aside for you. Why enrich the slip and fall lawyers anyway when a public adjuster is all you might need?

But of course, should the city council decide to sue, the law firm would be one with no connections to Levin, Papantonio, City Councilman Johnson, or the Emerald Coastkeepers club. Right?

After all, this recent election was all about getting rid of this good old boy network behavior wasn’t it?


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2 thoughts on “What’s New In City Hall?”

  1. I thought the comparison to good old boy behavior fit pretty well. That being, all happening in the background. Staff, background. Staff schmaf. Screw the staff. They’re not the ones we elected. If we’re going to have some sunshine in our government, then the council members need to put themselves out there and show us what is going on. Else, they should quit and put their staff in their place.

    A couple of weeks ago, in O’Brien’s column, he shed some light on what was going on. And was figuratively beat up over it. More good old boy behavior, and, the News Journal was a big player in that too. As they always are in political posturing. And as we now learn, he was right.

    That the Baylen Street Liberals are successful in suing the pants off of BIG CORPORATIONS is besides the point. The point is, they’ve got their connections (GOB) in the city council in the name of Larry Johnson, who is part of the same organization. Not the legal one (that I know of), but the conservationist one, who, like their cousin Riverkeepers,(RFK Jr., Papantonio’s partner in Lefty radio) function by lawsuit or the threat thereof. LP might be good at it, but Johnson and that firm ought not be a part of it, IF the city makes the decision to sue. Recuse. With them, the process has been tainted from the start. That they are and have been part of it, is good-old-boy from the getgo.

    The Levin firm supported Ashton Hayward.

    Ok, you see the quid. Will we see a quo pro?

    Besides, there are a couple other law firms, local ones, who would also like to take it on if given the chance.

    And besides all that, what city government would want to be associated with an attorney consumed with frog marching Dick Cheney and the Bush administration to jail over the BP accident? Talk about a circus . . .

  2. I’m not sure I understand your aspersion. You’re suggesting that the City hiring Levin Papantonio would somehow be “good old boy” behaviour? Why? The LP firm is representing many local businesses in suits versus BP. I think they’re pretty well known nationally for their success record. Furthermore, the recommendation is coming from staff. Are you suggesting staff has some kind of tie with the firm?

    Why would it be a problem?

    And what does Emerald Coastkeeper have to do with any of this?

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