Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 01/12/2011 06:05:08 PM PST

UPLAND – In light of mounting legal bills, two councilman have been tapped to review all of the city’s legal spending to ensure taxpayer money is wisely spent.

Councilman Brendan Brandt and Ken Willis will work with the Finance Director Stephen Dunn in reviewing the expenses, which over the past three years have exceeded $5 million.

Brandt, who is chairman of the finance committee and an attorney, and Willis will review all legal services received by the city and then make recommendations to the full council.

“I review bills for not only myself but for a large number of attorneys that work here, and I want to make sure of the same thing for the city – that what we’re being billed for is appropriate,” he said.

“I go in there and go into this looking at the services with no preconceived agenda one way or the other. I just think it needs to be looked at because they are large.”

Councilman Gino L. Filippi will act as an alternate.

The city has been engaged in legal disputes with San Bernardino County related to the county’s settlement with Colonies Partners LP, Central Avenue property owners who have filed a federal lawsuit over the shuttering of the Chronic Cantina and medical marijuana cooperatives seeking to do business in the city.

The council met in closed session twice in December to discuss the city’s contract with City Attorney William Curley and his law firm, Richard Watson and Gershon. No action was taken at either meeting.

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