City hires attorney to help with Allessi-Keys situation

By Martin Couch

It's been an ongoing process and arbitration is about to start between Alessi-Keys, a construction company, which provided worked at Bishop Park, and the City of Bryant.

On Thursday, Dec. 9, the City Council passed a motion to hire[more] David Powell to represent the city in the Alessi-Keys lawsuit.

"I presented the arbitration claim issue to the Council at the last finance and personnel committee meeting and I hate to inform (you) of an additional claim asserted by Alessi-Keys pending a Bishop Park construction matter," Bryant city attorney Nga Mahfouz said. "At that time, I had strongly urged the committee to seek an attorney who specialized in construction law. The other parties have construction law firms and I believe it would be a good idea to have someone representing the city who is familiar with that part of the law."

Mahfouz was asked by the committee to find a suitable construction law attorney.

"I made many phone calls and provided the Council with a brief biographical sketch of an attorney who comes highly recommended by his peers," she said. "He is specialized and has been voted as one of the best lawyers in America a number of times."

Powell is also familiar with the arbitration panel."He knows all the players and is willing to help us despite the late timing of him being brought into the case," Mahfouz said. "He is a partner in his law firm and it's my recommendation to hire him, but the sooner we can get on this, the sooner we can start working."

Alderman Danny Steele made a motion to the Council to accept the hire of Powell.

"How much of a time factor do we have?" asked Alderman Steve Gladden.

Mahfouz said that the arbitration hearing is scheduled for the second week of March.

"He's going to have to work quick," she advised.

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