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Show Me The Money!

Show Me The Money!

Lately, numbers have been thrown around regarding the cost of lawsuits that were related to the Wakulla Wetlands Ordinance.  Below you will find a breakdown from the County Attorney

On Oct 17, 2013, at 4:01 PM, “Encinosa, Heather” <hencinosa@ngn-tally.com> wrote:

Commissioners:
This email summarizes what I spoke to each of you about regarding costs associated with wetlands lawsuits.   The financial information is from the clerk’s records.To the best of my knowledge, there have been two lawsuits with claims involving wetlands.  Both of them occurred under the old wetlands ordinance that was enacted in 2006 and has since been repealed.  If there are other lawsuits involving wetlands, I am not aware of them.
  1. Crum and Tucker v. Wakulla – this case involved a challenge to the wetlands ordinance enactment process and a public records violation.  The wetlands count was resolved very early when the court ruled that the ordinance was not enacted through the proper procedures.  The public records count was litigated and ultimately settled.  The attorney’s fees were about $50,000.  The settlements were $158,000.  Attorney’s fees for Mr. Crum and Mr. Tucker are statutorily authorized for public records lawsuits and were included in the settlement amounts.  Total = $208,000.00, but majority dealt with public records.
  2. Log Creek – this case included both an appeal of a code enforcement board finding of violation and a separate suit filed by two landowners in the County.  The separate lawsuit included claims of equal protection, due process, takings, and defamation.  Only the takings claims concerned wetlands. The County’s insurance provider covered this suit.  The attorney’s fees paid by the county were about $40,000 for both.  The County would have also paid a $5000 insurance deductible.  The case was settled, but the county’s insurer covered all settlement costs.  Total = $45,000.00, but only two claims dealt with wetlands (on a percentage basis, it would be about 22%).
Like you all, I have heard the statements that the County has spent $600,000 on wetlands lawsuits, and wanted to ensure that you had this information.   Let me know if you have any questions.
 
Heather J. Encinosa, Esq. 
1500 Mahan Drive, Suite 200
Tallahassee, Florida 
32308(850) 224-4070
hencinosa@ngnlaw.com
 
The information contained in this e-mail is attorney privileged and confidential.  It is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above.  If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, you are notified that any dissemination, distribution or copy of this communication is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately and delete this message.  Thank You. Internal Revenue Service regulations require that certain types of written advice include a disclaimer. To the extent the preceding message contains advice relating to a Federal tax issue, unless expressly stated otherwise the advice is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties, and was not written to support the promotion or marketing of any transaction or matter discussed herein. Thank you.
 
From: Ralph Thomas [mailto:rthomas@mywakulla.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:25 PM
To: Encinosa, Heather
Subject: Re: Wetlands Lawsuits 
 
Thank you Heather.  I have one follow up question.  In addition to the amounts you have noted, was any money paid out from our insurance provider on either of these claims?  If so, how much and to whom? 
 
Thank you!
 
Ralph
Sent from my iPhone
 
From: Encinosa, Heather [hencinosa@ngn-tally.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2013 5:27 PM
To: Ralph Thomas                                               
Subject: RE: Wetlands Lawsuits
 
On Crum and Tucker, no.  On Log Creek, as indicated, they did settle and the insurer paid all of the settlement.  The settlement was $200,000.  I don’t have any additional information on costs to the insurer.
 
flush_with_cash

One Response to “Show Me The Money!”

  1. Bill Russell says:

    Heather is obviously wrong, Larry Roberts and other Wetland Alliance members say it is all a lie.
    Who do we believe, official records or the Wakulla Wetlands Alliance?

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