El Paso will not pay for ex-mayor's legal defense

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Associated Press

Posted on July 24, 2013 at 3:32 PM

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The mayor of the West Texas city of El Paso says it will not pay the $550,000 his predecessor owes lawyers from a legal battle to stop a recall election.

Mayor Oscar Leeser said in a statement that the city council on Tuesday denied former Mayor John Cook's request that the city pay the legal bills from a 2010 recall effort by pastor Tom Brown. The preacher wanted to recall Cook over his vote that broke a tie on the council and allowed the city to continue providing health benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

The city says Cook, who left office last month, sued to stop the recall election in his individual capacity and that the move was not authorized by the city.

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