Council member Ensey heading to court, citizens covering legal expenses - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Council member Ensey heading to court, citizens covering legal expenses

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YAKIMA, Wash-- Yakima City Council Member Rick Ensey will soon be heading to court and tax payer dollars will be covering the legal fees. There's been a petition for recall raised against Ensey.

There'll be a hearing and a judge will decide whether or not to continue with the recall process.

City council voted four to two, in favor of covering the cost of Ensey's legal expenses. He'll need an attorney to represent him at the initial hearing and may need an attorney for longer depending on what the judge decides. 

State statutes prohibit the cities legal staff from representing Ensey because a recall is considered political in nature. If council hadn't approved the covering of legal fees, Ensey would have been footing the bill himself.

"It's a tragedy and a travesty that the citizens of Yakima should have to pay for this kind of foolishness," said Dave Edler, mayor, City of Yakima.

"I cannot, will not, condone letting one of our fellow members out there without representation whether we have to pay for it or not," said Bill Lover, council member, City of Yakima.

There was no word on how much the attorney would cost, and in turn how much this recall process will cost the city.

Council members Rodriguez and Edler voted against the motion. Members Adkison, Cawely, Coffey and Lover voted for covering Ensey's legal expenses.

On a related topic, council adopted a newly drafted Code of Ethics at Tuesday's meeting.