Scottsdale to funnel $400k into legal defense for case

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (File Photo)

Scottsdale City Council approved a contract with the law firm Struck Wieneke and Love for the use of $400,000 in legal fees for the defense of Fuciarelli v. City of Scottsdale, which is pending in U.S. District Court.

City council approved the contract as part of the consent agenda at its Tuesday, Feb. 21 city council meeting.

The city is seeking outside counsel after the City Attorney’s Office consulted with the Risk Management Office and determined further handling of the case fell outside the resources available to the city, according to a city staff report.

The plaintiff alleged a Scottsdale police officer injured him while on scene at the plaintiff’s eviction of tenants from an office building. The plaintiff originally demanded $5 million but as the case has worn on, his damages claim has increased, according to a staff report.

The city denies any liability on the matter and disputes the amount of alleged damages, the report states.
Originally, the city entered into a contract with Struck Wieneke and Love to represent the city in several matters, including this case. That amount was not to exceed $50,000 and any additional fees needed council’s approval.

Council then approved more funds in attorneys’ fees and costs but this time not to exceed $150,000. Council further approved $250,000 more to bring the contract to $400,000.

The funding is available through the risk management operating budget, the report states.

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