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Livingston Parish expenses rising

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LIVINGSTON, La. (KNOE 8 News/AP) - Livingston Parish government is spending five times more on its legal adviser than in previous years, after the fee structure for the position changed from salary to hourly in 2012.

Overall, the parish's legal expenses rose 26 percent from 2011 to 2012, and are on track to potentially exceed what was budgeted for 2013.

The numbers are troubling, and the Parish Council's Finance Committee plans to discuss the rising costs at its meeting Thursday.

The parish's legal adviser, Hammond lawyer Christopher Moody, has billed the parish $364,000 during the past 16 months for work on some two dozen lawsuits and an equal number of complex legal issues.

The parish finance director says the parish budgeted about $260,000 for legal expenses for 2013.

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