Lafayette City Council’s special attorney resigns as first hearing in lawsuit approaches

Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (Daily Advertiser) — The lawyer hired by Lafayette’s City Council to represent its interests in arguments with Mayor-President Josh Guillory and City-Parish Attorney Greg Logan resigned Thursday, days ahead of the first hearing in a lawsuit over her hiring. 

Lea Anne Batson, a former city-parish attorney for Baton Rouge’s consolidated government, was hired by the City Council in August during a contentious budget process that saw the City Council but heads with Logan and Lafayette’s Parish Council over its autonomy.

Guillory vetoed the council’s hiring of Batson, which the council then overrode in September, prompting Logan to launch a lawsuit to prove the council did not have the legal authority to hire her, which was set for an initial hearing Monday.

But Batson resigned from the job after Logan asked the court to allow Lafayette Consolidated Government to seek damages from her personally in a letter dated Nov. 3 but released Thursday by City Council Chair Pat Lewis.

“I am in no position to take on the vast resources of (Logan’s) office which includes access to an unlimited number of well compensated attorneys,” she wrote.

“I am a retired public servant and there is no mechanism for me to be compensated for my time and the expense of litigating this issue or the assumption of the personal financial risk associated with the spectre of damages and attorney’s fees that you have injected into this disagreement.”

In the letter, Batson also argued that the council is legally empowered to hire her for the dispute without approval from Logan, which Logan has argued it is unable to do.

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