The City has spent over $157K on outside legal bills in the current contract dispute with firefighters and that's only part of bill as City Hall split hairs with the WDT on just what their FOIL request covered. Because the paper didn't specifically request totals for what was spent on other grievences with the WFD, those numbers were withheld.
The money went to Bond Schoeneck and King, the firm employing labor law Svengali Terry O'Neill and it's also the go-to firm for other major city cases not handled by local attorney Robert Slye, who is the corporation counsel. B S and K at one time employed Mr. Slye as well.
The latest twist came when demoted captains were labled as "laid off" and then rehired as firefighters in an apparent legal correction of course.
Proponents of the spending have argued the Fire Department contributes to a long term structural deficit in city finances and the spending now is peanuts to what can be saved if the action results in the deletion of minimum manning from the CBA.
The union is spending on lawyers too but not as much and in an epic dispute the city's deep pockets could prevail. Time will tell.
The city's apparent playing possum with the numbers and forcing the media to use FOIL requests is more evidence of a lack of transparency and a detachment of City Council from what's going on.