Taking a stand can be quite an expensive proposition. In the case of Fayette County, it totals more than $434,000 and counting.
That’s the latest figure on legal fees the county has spent on its three and a half-year battle with the NAACP over its nearly two-century-old at-large voting system. No blacks had ever served on the county school board or county commission under that system. U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten scrapped the at-large system and told the county to adopt a district voting system to enable blacks to finally have a chance to win county-level seats.
Last November, voters elected the first black to serve on the county commission. Pota Coston of Tyrone was sworn in as commissioner of the mostly-minority District 5 last Friday.
Commissioners recently received the latest billing statements from attorneys hired to represent the county government in the NAACP district voting lawsuit. Strickland, Brockington and Lewis LLP has billed the county a total $434,155 for its services over the last three and a half years.
And that figure is likely to go higher.
The case is currently before the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
the NAACP lawyers have incurred fees and expenses of $787,882.