May 9, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Aspen Daily News "PitCo ups budget for fighting court cases"

Andrew Travers:
"Pitkin County will have an extra $200,000 in the budget this year for litigation, in case simmering matters related to oil and gas drilling flare up, or other legal challenges arise, commissioners agreed at a meeting Tuesday.

The public money comes in addition to $75,845 in already-approved litigation funds for 2012.

In 2011, the county far outspent its legal budget fighting criminal and civil charges against government officials accused of wrongdoing in the poisoning deaths, by carbon monoxide, of a family of four. The cases related to the deaths of the Lofgren family of Denver were dropped last year. Prosecutors had accused local building inspectors of negligence for failing to catch glitches in the snowmelt system of a luxury home the family was renting in 2008. 

The county and city of Aspen spent a total of nearly $260,000 last year on lawyers and court costs in those cases.

County attorney John Ely told the commissioners Tuesday that he had reduced the litigation budget in recent years. It had been between $200,000 and $300,000 in years past......"
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