Public officials urged to avoid litigation

Posted 10 January 2016 at 12:00 am


I have noticed several issues which involve ligation or proposed ligation by public entities. As a taxpayer, the public must be aware of what the cost burden will be.

Forensic accountants and lawyers are costly. I see these cases wind down and often wonder how much money is wasted. What did it cost a taxpayer to find out an employee miss-marked a day off or charged for an extra ten miles of travel? How much money did it take to fight Ag and Markets or Article Ten?

Public entities have deep pockets. The forensic accountants and lawyers know that before offering representation. The cases I was involved with as a Lyndonville school board member had only one winner and it wasn’t the parties involved in the case. One of the best moves the board made was to not pursue ligation for ferroresonance.

The school was having electric issues. The board’s attorney at the time had encouraged this suit. Try and explain that concept to a jury. The matter was fixed and I doubt it was ferroresonance. What would it have cost the district to move down that path?

Elected officials please use judgment when entering in ligation. Taxpayers also need to hold public officials accountable for their actions in these matters.

Edward Urbanik
Urbanik is a former board member and president of the Lyndonville Board of Education