City Council Holds Hearing on Bills Related to Conflict Counsel

, The Legal Intelligencer

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City Hall in Philadelphia
City Hall in Philadelphia

Resnick said that the proposed changes were a result of "fear and panic" at the prospect of change and reassured committee members that the administration has pledged to work with the bar association to develop a conflict-counsel system.

Additionally, Resnick said the administration welcomes council oversight and that the changes to the city charter are unnecessary.

"The point of my testimony is that we contract for other services that implicate constitutional rights, we do it well, and we don't need the charter to be changed," Resnick said.

However, Greenlee told Resnick that he was offended by the implication that council involvement in contract approval would constitute "political interference."

Resnick replied that he didn't mean to offend anyone, and reiterated that adding negotiations for a vendor with another layer of government would lengthen and complicate the process.

Councilman James F. Kenney also expressed displeasure with Resnick's comment on "political interference."

Kenney likened the council to a corporate board of directors and the mayor to a CEO in terms of contract approval.

"Could you imagine a CEO engaging in a contract of this level without talking to the board?" Kenney asked. "That CEO would be out on the street. ... Things need to come before the board of directors before we move in one direction or another."

Kenney finished his remarks by telling Resnick that his testimony convinced him to vote for the passage of the bills.

After testimony concluded, the committee voted to send the bills to the full council for further action.

P.J. D'Annunzio can be contacted at 215-557-2315 or pdannunzio@alm.com. Follow him on Twitter @PJDAnnunzioTLI. •

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