Letter: What’s the need for 28 EBR parish attorneys?

What in the world are we doing with 28 full-time parish attorneys in Baton Rouge’s city-parish government? Apparently just more government waste-again.

There is no excuse for this situation to exist. The City-Parish could probably cut this number down to a dozen, or less, if they, the dozen, would really work full time.

Who in the government is making sure that these 28 are really working full time? Answer: no one. This is the same old problem with government. There is no accountability for employees, because when the supervisors were new employees, they were not really supervised, so now that they are supervisors, they are carrying on this well-established government tradition of “no supervision.”

I hate to criticize without offering a solution, so here are three.

  • Install a time clock and have them punch in and out, and fire anyone who punches in for another person.
  • The government could do the same thing that lawyers in private practice do — keep a log of the time they spent on any one item and describe what that item of work is all about. I don’t think anyone in the public would pay a legal fee without knowing how much time was spent on the item they are being charged for. Then we need a responsible person to check these time sheets.
  • Instead of asking employed attorneys to do complicated work that they may not be trained for, hire outside counsel who are experts in the field of interest. Their hourly rate may be higher, but they will spend less time and produce a better product for the parish.

J. H. Jenkins Jr.

retired contractor/civil engineer

Baton Rouge