Mayor contests assertion that suit against Clancy is illegal

August 18, 2010
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Mayor Judith Flanagan-Kennedy says she believes the city’s suit against former Mayor Chip Clancy for extra pay he received and which the city is withholding is neither illegal nor unauthorized.

The city is seeking $35,000 in pay that Clancy claims he is owed.

The mayor filed a law suit against Clancy in behalf of the city.

She hired outside counsel.

Clancy answered with his own law suit in which he is seeking the money he is owed and damages as well as asking for his legal fees to be paid.

The lawsuit is in Suffolk Superior Court in Essex County.

Clancy is seeking a jury trial.

Local lawyers familiar with municipal law questioned the legality of the mayor’s lawsuit.

Protocol apparently requires the mayor to first receive the permission of the City Council and the city’s Legal Department before entering a lawsuit on her own on behalf of the city.

“At no time did the Law Department inform me of the existence of any requirement that the City Solicitor notify the City Council and the Committee on Claims prior to hiring outside counsel,” the mayor told the Journal.

“In fact, in the 18 years that I have been involved in city government, I have never before heard any mention of a so-called ‘Committee on Claims,’”she added.

City Solicitor Michael Barry refused to comment on the matter.

However, a local attorney familiar with the lawsuit said that the city’s lawsuit could be called into question until and unless the proper approvals are gotten by the mayor.

For her part, the mayor claims such a protocol is the stuff of ancient city hall history.

Former Mayor Clancy refused to comment on the matter.

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