Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Hazleton donations top $300,000 in one week. That's Incredible. I am wonder how many of those Xenophobics will donate money to any Charity or Fund for recovery and protect the abused Children's from Sexual Predators or Child Molesters. Do you think is worth it to fight and spend so much money on an Unconstitutional Ordinance than fight for the safety of the Children's?.
City has used half so far to defend Illegal Immigration Relief Act.
By Steve Mocarsky firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAZLETON– As of last week, the city has received more than $300,000 in donations to the legal defense fund, and has paid out nearly half that amount in legal fees to defend the Illegal Immigration Relief Act that a federal judge struck down last week.
The city on Monday provided a print-out of the fund’s check register showing the city had $158,093.55 remaining in the fund as of July 24 – the date of the most recent deposit.
The city started the fund last fall after attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups sued the city on behalf of Latino groups and individuals to have the Relief Act and a related ordinance declared unconstitutional.
The laws would fine landlords and suspend licenses of businesses that rent to or hire illegal immigrants and require all city tenants to register with the city and prove their citizenship or legal residency status to obtain a renter’s permit.
As of March 28, when the city had received $166,573 in donations, it paid $54,829 to Kris Kobach, one of the lead attorneys, and $15,954 to city solicitor Chris Slusser, who helped craft the ordinance.
Since then, Kobach received another payment of $60,381, and Slusser was paid another $7,582.
The city also made a $10,000 payment to Scotsdale Insurance Co. – the city’s insurance carrier – as a deductible. Scotsdale had appointed the law firm of Deasey, Mahoney & Bender to help represent the city in court.
The city also paid $1,162 to Precision Design – a public relations firm in Hazleton –for one year of Web-site hosting. Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta had a Web site designed so people could learn about Hazleton’s legal fight and make donations over the Internet.
Barletta has said he hopes people continue to donate, especially because he’s unsure whether Scotsdale would pay the plaintiffs’ legal fees if the city loses all appeals.
The city’s insurance policy covers the city’s legal fees and damages awarded, but it’s unclear whether damages would include the opposing party’s legal fees.
Lawyers for the ACLU estimated that their legal fees total more than $1 million, and that they might ask the court to instruct the city to reimburse them after the appeal process ends.
The city plans to appeal the case to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, and both sides have vowed to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if they lose in the Third Circuit.