Who really pays

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 29, 2006

for the city’s


I see from the Jan. 22 issue of your newspaper that a judge recently ordered the “City” of Suffolk to pay a local citizen $70,000, plus $34,128 in legal costs, because of the illegal acts of certain employees resulting in the demolition of three privately owned houses.


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Of course the “City” of Suffolk has no money, except that it takes from its citizens, so the judge actually ordered Suffolk taxpayers to pay the entire $104,128. Does anyone else wonder why the persons who committed the wrongful acts aren’t required to pay that amount?

Additionally, since the attorneys employed by the City invariably hire other lawyers when it is necessary to present or defend a case in court, it’s almost axiomatic that Suffolk taxpayers were hit with a bill for outside legal services that quite likely exceeded the $34,128 the vindicated citizen was awarded for his legal fees.

Add to that the costs of some $18,000 that the City apparently paid for demolition and attempted to pass on to the citizen by placing a lien on his property, plus lost real estate tax revenue that would have been collected on the demolished houses, and it appears likely that the taxpayers of Suffolk took at least a $125,000 hit for this exercise in bureaucratic bungling.

I also saw, in the same issue of your paper, a notice indicating the City was moving toward demolishing some more of the same citizen’s property. Does that mean we may have to cough up some more of our hard-earned dollars if the same process is repeated?

C. L. Willis