BISBEE, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Board of Supervisors has ratified a letter from the Cochise County Attorney’s Office stating its intent to cease providing legal services to the City of Bisbee at the end of this month.
The two organizations currently have an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for legal services until June 29, 2019, which the County had requested be renewed with an increase of five percent. The City of Bisbee currently pays $60,000 annually for 24-hour access to the County’s legal team.
With the County due to enter its annual budget planning cycle, County Administrator Ed Gilligan said the Attorney’s Office had made the renewal request to give it time to adequately fund and staff the provisions of the IGA.
Bisbee City Council instead chose to explore other options for its legal services in a 4-3 vote at a recent council meeting, citing dissatisfaction with the IGA, attorney Elda Orduno told the Board.
“We want our clients to be happy with the service we provide,” Orduno said, adding the County will continue to honor the current IGA if the City of Bisbee does not find alternate legal services before June 29.
“We believe the City will be better off hiring representation from the open market,” said Gilligan. “For us and our budget planning, we are indicating our intent not to renew, which is an appropriate step so both entities can move forward.”
The Board unanimously agreed to ratify the letter of intent at its regular meeting on January 8.