City council looks for new legal representation for appeal in Entergy power plant lawsuit

Chris Miller
August 14, 2019 - 9:18 am

Members of the New Orleans City Council today will discuss hiring a new legal team to handle its appeal in the New Orleans East power plant case. A judge ruled in June that the council violated open meetings laws, even though it was Entergy who got the blame for astroturfing hearings on the project by packing the chamber with paid supporters.

Although the council has publicly disputed it, legal analyst Tim Meche says since a civil court judge ruled a committee meeting on the Entergy plant was illegal, "it means they would have to take a revote."

And even though the council has changed some members since the original vote approving the plant, subsequent votes on other matters related to the Entergy plant have shown the support for it on the council remains. But opposition remains high, and Meche speculates the council may see appeal as its path of least resistance.

"They want to rely on the original vote so that they won't have to put their name on something that's clearly unpopular," he said. "This time there'll be a lot more pressure on them from the public."  

Meche says a re-vote would probably be a lot faster than going through the appeals process, but also more controversial.

The council's Selection Review Committee meets at 2:00 p.m.

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