Sandusky spent $1.75 million on legal costs

Sandusky taxpayers have fronted about $1.75 million in legal costs during the past five years, according to a Register analysis of city finances obtained through a public records request.
Andy Ouriel
Jan 8, 2013


City-contracted law firms oversee a wide array of lawsuits and legal work involving:

• Union contracts and dealings

• Water disputes

• Elections conflicts

• Employee issues

Click below for a PDF on what legal firms were paid for their services.

For more on this story and to see a year-by-year breakdown of the legal costs, pick up a copy of Tuesday's Register.



About $350 K a year. Not out of line for a city to have these expenses.


The lawsuits are a budget killer. The city needs to get proactive in preventing lawsuits.


Darkhorse, I agree with your budget killer assessment. But, it's the mindset of the general public to litigate for any possible reason. This will never go away from our society as we know it today.

It's a pretty sad observation of us.

Clark W

Now this is an interesting piece.
Well done, Mr. Ouriel. I'll give credit where it's due.
It's pretty sad to think about that much taxpayer money going to legal costs, when it could be used for other important purposes.


Is there any way the SR can tell us what EACH of these outside law agencies were paid FOR? What did each law firm do for the city and get paid for in 2012? It would be interesting to know what they got paid for instead of just a graph showing what each firm's name is and what they got paid. I want to know what each firm did last year. Like Bill Lang...what did he do for $85,ooo + dollars?

Could the city cut some of the budget by having some of the things done by Icsman and his staff right here? It seems to me that if everything is being done outside the city, what does Icsman and staff do on an itemized schedule for what he and his staff are paid?

Also, why is information only coming from Deidra Cole of late? Are there not other commissioners? Why are we not hearing from Farrer or Grohe or any of the other Commissioners. The only stories we here are from her. Why not other commissioners? It seems she is the only one talking. Why is that? The others should have SOME voice in how this city is running I would think. I would like to hear what Farrar or Grohe have to say about what is happening in this town, or Hamilton, since he is ex-officio Mayor. That is part of his job, I would think. Pretty sick and tired of not hearing other points of view. Lets here from someone else some time.


BW1's picture

"Could the city cut some of the budget by having some of the things done by Icsman and his staff right here?"

City Law Departments are not where one typically finds great litigators, who can earn far more in private practice. Since the vast majority of their work is non-litigation (writing laws, advising as to the legality of policy, writing contracts, etc.) it actually makes fiscal sense to only pay for the specialized skills of a litigator when they are needed.


Could we take this one at a time, please. Writing law? I would love to know what law Mr. Icsman wrote for the City in 2012?

Advising legality of Policy....the chief of police? He certainly didn't do a good job the first time around, now did he? As for the second time...he showed up, gave a brief talk and left, I understand.

Writing contracts? Who had a contract negotiation in 2012 except the City Manager? Were there others? Like what?

Your etc, I cannot imagine what else there is, unless it is sitting for an hour at the meetings.

I don't think Mr Icsman does private practice...just the I don't know what other things he does for the city.

I would truly like to see a billing statement of his to the city for his salary. Now THAT would be interesting.

T. A. Schwanger

Perhaps others were asked their opinion but declined to comment.


I highly doubt that to be the case. Do you know that as fact or do they just ask her now? I, for one, am DYING to hear from Mr Grohe once in awhile. I would also like to hear from Ms Farrar. Are they not also commissioners? Or are the citizens of this city only to hear from Ms Cole?
I really doubt that any of the others were asked to comment, I really do.

Since you seem to know so much, perhaps YOU could you break down the amounts paid to these attorneys and for what they were paid to do.

Since you always seem to find it necessary to answer my posts. Please answer this one. You could ask Deidra Cole and I am sure it would be NO problem for you to secure these answers, as the SR does not seem to have that information.

A graph does not state what they were paid to do.

Thank you for your time and efforts.


May I suggest you contact the City Finance Director. It would make sense the City has records and specifics on how much and what they pay all vendors for.


I would really perfer the expert knowledge of TA Schwanger and his expert team. But thanks for the input.

Mr. Schwanger plans to run eventually for City Commission I would think this would be a great time for him to be able to answer questions for one of the people he would be representing.

But again, thanks for your suggestion.