Attorney Mary Olive Pierson said in a recent letter to the mayor and Metro Council that she would not bill the city-parish for her legal services relating to movement to create the city of St. George.
Pierson swore she would defend the city-parish as a petition drive to create the city of St. George gained traction in the southern part of the parish. The St. George movement came to an end when their petition to vote for the new city fell short by 71 signatures in June and State District Judge Wilson Fields tossed out a lawsuit in July challenging how the petition was counted.
The St. George camp has said they will not appeal.
In her letter, Pierson praised Fields’ ruling.
“The appeal would not have had any merit because Judge Fields was 100 percent correct in his legal ruling, notwithstanding unwarranted and inflammatory opinions on the St. George website from its supporters which erroneously and unmercifully criticized the Judge for his decision,” Pierson wrote.
Pierson wrote that she spent extensive time and energy strategizing over a possible St. George lawsuit should an election be called. However, she said she previously told the mayor and Metro Council that she would not charge for her services until the city-parish was dragged into litigation.
The Metro Council previously approved a $40,000 contract for her that started January 29 of this year and ran through 2017. Pierson wrote that she would not bill the city-parish for her time and expenses though the contract called for her to be paid.
“It was a privilege and an honor to represent the City-Parish in this process and I hope that my services were such that I will be considered again in the future for other professional contracts,” she wrote.
Some Metro Council members raised concerns over spending public money on Pierson, given that her anti-St. George position was not shared by all city-parish residents.
Pierson worked pro bono as a St. George opponent long before the Metro Council approved her contract earlier this year. She repeatedly said she had a vested interest in ensuring Baton Rouge was not split into two cities.
“I have a vital interest in making sure this city I was born in and grew up in continues to flourish,” Pierson said in the past.