Niagara Gazette

Local News

August 27, 2013

Niagara Town Board updated on Fashion Outlets expansion; pays disputed legal bills

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Clark initially questioned the bills submitted by Risman because, he said, it appeared the town's attorney was charging the town, among other things, to contact Richards' personal attorney concerning a matter involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It was a shocking moment, as Risman revealed the name of an employee who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the town in open meeting. He said his bills all stem to investigating the case in the interest of the town.

"We were representing the town's interest and doing an investigation," Risman said last week. "I represent the town as a legal entity. Mr. Richards has his own lawyer. I'm not advising Mr. Richards on personal matters. He has his own counsel. I have no specific recollection of talking to his attorney."

Richards also had a say, defending the attorney's bills and the decision to have Risman notify his own counsel at the dime of the taxpayers.

"Why are we spending town money, whether it's tax raised or from sales revenue ...on these subjects?" Clark asked.

"Because some scumbag here in this workforce called the FBI and said I made the girl do that stuff," Richards said. "He notified my attorney to let him know some scumbag was falsely accusing me."

Clark said he agreed to pay the bills because the arguments Tuesday were enough for him.

"We had it out the other night," he said. "I will stand by what I said. And if I see one more bill for FBI submitted by (Risman), I'm filing ethics charges ..."

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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