Commission retains Mobile law firm for ‘a serious matter’

Published 2:17pm Saturday, June 22, 2013

After spending two hours behind closed doors in an executive session, the Elmore County Commission voted unanimously to retain the services of the Law Firm of Adams and Reese.
An attorney from the firm’s Mobile office, Briton Bonner, met with commissioners in an executive session Thursday morning.
The private deliberations were justified through the “commerce and trade” exception to the Alabama Open Meetings Law.
Following the meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to retain Bonner’s services.
Commission Chairman Joe Faulk declined to elaborate on the “fee schedule” for Bonner’s services. He said the legal fees would be paid out of “contingency funds,” and the firm was retained “to participate in a serious matter of commerce and trade.”
Faulk declined further comment.
Also present at the meeting was Auburn University Montgomery economics professor Keivan Deravi. His consulting firm — TKS — was hired in January to study the economic impact of the towering Wind Creek Wetumpka Casino and Resort, which upon completion will be the largest gambling and entertainment complex operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Deravi was retained to study the casino’s financial impact on the county, such as the extra wear and tear on Elmore County roads or a larger inmate population at the Elmore County Jail attributable to thousands more gamers and tourists flocking to the luxurious 20-story hotel and 90,000 square-foot gaming floor.
Wetumpka’s city government also commissioned TKS for a similar study about the complex’s impact to municipal infrastructure.
Deravi’s study has not been released publicly, though The Herald has requested access to it.

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