- Associated Press - Friday, April 11, 2014

LIVINGSTON, La. (AP) - Officials say Livingston Parish should save about $100,000 in legal fees for 2014 after officials restructured the way the parish legal adviser gets paid.

Parish President Layton Ricks tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1kzZZ30 ) legal adviser Christopher Moody now will be paid a flat rate of $8,000 per month, rather than $4,000 per month for basic advising, plus $175 per hour for work on lawsuits and other complex matters.

The Parish Council began raising concerns about Moody's bills in July, after realizing the parish was paying five times more for his services than his predecessor had received.

In an attempt to curb those costs, the parish’s Charter Review Commission has been debating whether to allow the parish government to set up an in-house legal department.


Moody's bills have totaled roughly $500,000 since he began working for the parish government in January 2012, parish officials have said.

The previous adviser, Blayne Honeycutt, drew an annual salary of about $42,000 for providing essentially the same services.

Both were appointed to the position by District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, whose office is charged under the parish’s Home Rule Charter with providing legal counsel to parish government.

Under the new arrangement between Perrilloux and Moody, the parish will pay Moody through the District Attorney’s Office, rather than being billed directly, Ricks said.

Parish officials will continue to receive copies of Moody's invoices, Ricks said.

Moody did not attend the council meeting Thursday. Ricks said Moody was out of town.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com