City's release of legal bills for Judge Angela Stokes reveals little

City's release of legal bills for Judge Angela Stokes reveals little

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We have been trying to get detailed billings from the city of Cleveland to determine how more than $1 million of your tax dollars have been spent on the Angela Stokes case. While we got the numbers, the documents still keep you from learning very much.

After being ignored following repeated requests for detailed billings by the law firm representing the former judge, reporter Paul Orlousky camped out at the law department hoping to ask director Barbara Langhenry about it.

"I just spoke to the director. She said they have gathered the bills and they are preparing to release it and you will have it today," said an aide.

The city delivered on that promise, but what it delivered is disappointing.

A heavily redacted bill from Zukerman, Daiker, and Lear for the period of June 10 through Oct. 22 is for $100,482.50. But that was known before by doing simple math and subtracting Zukerman's current total of more than $701,000 from the previous billing.

What is troubling is that every description of every service is blacked out. All that shows are the hours billed at $250 an hour for attorney Zukerman and $175 an hour for other attorneys.

There is no way to analyze what is being paid for.

It raises the question, does the city even know what services it is buying?

The disclaimer about the redactions is contained on Zukerman's letterhead on the bill. But we are told the redactions were done by the law department, so it knows what it is paying for; you never will.

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