East Providence finally has new solicitors in place.
The budget commission signed off last week on Timothy Chapman as city solicitor, and Gregory Dias and Robert Craven as assistant city solicitors. They will be paid $65,000 and $40,000 respectively. Orlando Andreoni had continued to represent the city until new solicitors were hired.
The board also agreed to continue the agreement the school department has with the law firm of Silva, Thomas, Marltand and Offenberg at $150 an hour.
The budget commissioners agreed to the new solicitors and school department attorneys after the Legal Services RFP Evaluation Committee recommended that all bids to the RFP be rejected.
The RFP committee decided that the proposed "out-of-house" model tied to the RFPs would not satisfy the "logistical legal needs of the city and schools." A financial analysis of the bids also did not make it clear that the "out-of-house" model for legal services would provide significiant savings to the city.
The conventional "in-house" model will more likely produce "consistent expenditures with the implementation of the following measures":
- Legal fees will be monitored month by month with a report that will break down invoices, services performed and hours worked.
- Formal agreements with the solicitors will outline expectations for work performed, fees and dates of service.
- If expectations for services are not met, the city has the right to terminate services immediately per the formal agreement.
The RFP committee decided that a lack of expectations, formal agreements and consistent monitoring of fees being charged gradually drove up legal fees over the past few years.
In other personnel action, the budget commission agreed to the city manager's promotion of Capt. Christopher Parella, head of the traffice division, to deputy police chief, and the promotions of Lt. John Sequeira to acting captain; Sgt. Mark Cadoret to lieutenant, and Det. Cpl. Samuel Luke to sergeant.
Parella's promotion makes him second in command of the police department headed by Police Chief Joseph Tavares.