Friday, February 22, 2008

Agony of Defeat

Well, I've spent most of this week preparing for a surcharge trial. I was appointed to represent the elected Township Auditors against the Township Supervisors. In the fall of 2004, the Township Supervisors decided to purchase a new front wheel loader and ordered a Volvo. There were problems with delivery and in April of 2005 the Supervisors cancelled the Volvo and purchased a Catepillar model loader. The problem was that the Catepillar was not publicly bid and cost more than the Volvo.

Our evidence was that the Volvo was still available in April of 2005 at the same price originally quoted to the Township in the fall of 2004. Our position was that the Catepillar was not legally purchased and therefore, the higher price paid led to the surcharge.

After a half day of trial, the Court ruled against the Auditors and in favor of the Supervisors. The Court stated that in order for the Auditors to prevail, they must show that the Catepillar was not worth what the Township paid for it, not that they paid more for it than the Volvo.

I don't know if my clients will appeal the decision or not. The Township has spent close to $10,000.00 in attorney's fees between their solicitor and myself. Disappointed to say the least.

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