The skinny on that new attorney
A new attorney joined the table at the Clark County council’s workshop on the Comprehensive Growth Management Plan on Wednesday, a fact that appeared to come as a surprise to several councilors.
Stephen DiJulio, an attorney with Seattle firm Foster Pepper, will represent the Clark County council on land-use issues going forward, as I reported on Wednesday.
Council Chair Marc Boldt, no party preference, told me he wasn’t sure what had changed since the council decided to waive Deputy Prosecutors Chris Horne and Chris Cook of any conflict of interest in response to Councilor David Madore’s accusations that both have lied to the board. Madore, it appeared, was also perplexed. I watched him ask DiJulio a few questions why he was there.
Unfortunately, Prosecutor Tony Golik missed my phone call Wednesday, so I wasn’t able to get the skinny until Thursday morning. Golik, a Democrat, explained that DiJulio will represent the council as it moves forward with the last few chapters of its 20-year growth plan in advance of the county’s June 30 deadline to submit it to the state.
“This has been a fluid analysis and on further analysis, I just decided to go with the most cautious approach,” Golik said.
Golik noted that he still believes there’s no reason to believe Horne or Cook have ever intentionally given the council false advice, as Madore has alleged. But he said he’s using “an abundance of caution” in the wake of the Republican councilor’s continued hammering of the attorneys.
“Councilor Madore is continuing his allegations, and he is represented by counsel who also expressed that he shares concerns about the waiver approach,” Golik said.
DiJulio, by the way, is expensive. His rate is $450 an hour. Imagine the cost of sitting through one of Clark County’s now all-too-common four-hour hearings.
“This will be very costly to the county to go through and use outside counsel for this process,” Golik said. “It’s important that citizens understand that the council is getting competent and unbiased legal advice.”