Legal fees in Portsmouth city council legal battle top $50,000

Posted at 2:36 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 17:38:59-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – Attorney fees in the case involving City Councilman Bill Moody are billed at more than $54,000, according to a city spokesperson.

Moody was fined $1,500 at a city council meeting in January for posting on Facebook about a closed session matter, a violation of council rules.

Moody has contended the fine is illegal and sued the city. Legal fees in the matter are $54,638, according to Dana Woodson, a city spokesperson. Tax payers are on the hook for the fees.

Moody says that number doesn’t include his own legal fees in the case. His attorney, Kevin Martingayle, wrote a settlement letter asking for $10,000, but says the true cost of his fees is much higher. He told a reporter on Wednesday he’s still waiting to hear back on how his fees will be settled, but is willing to set a court hearing if necessary.

In June, a judge ruled the city council violated the Freedom of Information Act when fining Moody.

Council members voted against rescinding the fine rule in a 4-2 vote on Tuesday night.