“The village’s legal fees have skyrocketed in recent years, caused by lawsuits filed by ex-employees and strife on the Board of Trustees, and the village is facing hefty daily fines due to its failure to submit state reports.
In 2014, the village’s legal fees were approximately $155,000, according to village documents. The next year, that number jumped to $233,000.
In 2016, legal fees rose to $323,500. The village has racked up about $404,000 in legal fees so far this fiscal year.
Spring Valley does not have a village attorney — one of a number of appointments the board has not been able to agree upon.
Mayor Demeza Delhomme said the lack of a village attorney has led to slowdowns inside Village Hall.
“It’s impacting the village because you can’t get anything done immediately,” he said while sitting in his Village Hall office last week.
The last in-house attorney quit in 2015. His annual salary at the time was $87,000.
The mayor has been practically sidelined on the Village Board, which is led by a three-person majority composed of Trustees Vilair Fonvil, Sherry McGill, and Asher Grossman.
All three did not return calls for comment Friday.
“We’re a potential disaster,” Delhomme said. “We’re now an assigned risk.”
The insurance carrier will officially cut ties with the village on June 30. Apex will assist in finding another carrier, Delhomme said, but he expected coverage costs to increase.”
Read the complete Journal News story here.