Hillsborough County Attorney Renee Lee
Tampa, Florida --10 News has learned that former Hillsborough County Attorney Renee Lee is asking taxpayers to pick up her legal fees, adding up to thousands of dollars.
Keep in mind Lee is already receiving a half year's salary and benefits package from the taxpayers, which amounts to $150,000. Last week, she applied for unemployment benefits, which would give her an additional $275 a week. Now Lee wants more. The former county attorney who was branded a liar by the Florida Department of law Enforcement says taxpayers should pick up her legal tab and give $17,000 to Attorney Eddie Suarez and pay $63,000 to Barry Cohen's law firm. That's a total of $80,000 in legal bills.
Lee needed lawyers after she was suspended and investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for recommending that she and former Administrator Pat Bean, who was also fired, were eligible for one percent raises that the Board of Commissioners did not approve.
After we uncovered the raise scheme, Bean was fired last year and Lee was fired this year.
The issue comes up before County Commissioners on August 3. Under county policy, it will be sent to a hearing officer to decide if there is any public policy that makes it appropriate to pay those fees. The County Attorney's Office clearly has a conflict on making that decision. The commissioners will then hold a public hearing and vote whether the fees should be paid.
We tried to reach Lee to see why she thought she was entitled to the fees. We were not able to reach her for comment.