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ELi's questions about the Abbot Road retaining wall reconstruction seem to have revealed a surprising aspect of city management: according to the Director of Public Works, the Engineering Department is in the practice of negotiating legal agreements on behalf of the citizenry.
The project at issue involved reconstruction of a crumbling retaining wall running along Abbot Road from Fern Street south, almost to Oakhill Avenue. The project required granting of four easements from the private property owners along the stretch. Three of the agreements were signed by a fraternity. The last involved the northern most property, owned by a company called Woodland Pass Equity Company.
As previously reported in ELi, in presenting the easement agreements to City Council, City Attorney Tom Yeadon does not appear to have disclosed that he is part-owner of Woodland Pass Equity Company.
Now a careful comparison of the easement agreements has revealed that there are at least five differences between the agreements the frat signed and the agreement with Yeadon's company. This would seem to suggest that some legal negotiation occurred in this matter. Who, then, was the City's attorney in those negotiations, negotiations which, at least in the case of the frat, included an important indemnification clause (i.e., a clause that determines weighting of liability risk)?