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Birmingham Water Works Board approves controversial contract for legal services

Updated: Nov. 22, 2016 at 5:05 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It was a contentious meeting at the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) on Tuesday.

Board members were pointed and emotional as they approved a $100,000 a month contract to get legal help from the law firm run by Courtney French.

"My biggest objection is that it takes away power of the board. It's a contract that helps only the attorney," BWWB member Sherry Lewis said.

This three-year deal replaces a one-year contract. Lewis objected to getting the contract late Monday. She also didn't like requiring a supermajority of the board to terminate it.

Supporters contend it provides stability and good legal representation.

"Certainly I want to keep cost under control. I also want the best person doing the job," BWWB member Kevin McKie said.

McKie says if legal representation is not what they want, they have a 90-day termination notice.

Lewis is so frustrated with getting information at the water works she has called for an investigation.

"I sit on the board but there is something wrong here. There is something terribly wrong here," Lewis said.

Lewis has been at odds with the board over other contracts and spending issues this year.

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