Today I just received notice that the barkless, toothless, and otherwise worthless Attorney Grievance Commission turned loose another shyster who yours truly caught red-handed helping his law firm double-deal the residents and taxpayers of the City of Grand Rapids.
The AGC has opined that the decidedly estimable Dick Wendt of the law firm Dickinson Wright P.L.L.C. did no wrong in representing the City of Grand Rapids in the negotiation of a taxpayer subsidy for the developers of the Berkey & Gay site while other members of his law firm sat at the other end of the table representing the developers. Little wonder the Berkey & Gay developers bagged 2.5 million taxpayer dollars when their law firm controls both sides of the table, but it is astonishing that the AGC couldn’t figure out that a conflict of interest as blatant as this is unethical.
Even if the keystone cops of the AGC can’t get the simple stuff straight, how come the Mayor, the City Commission, the City Manager, and the City Attorney aren’t protecting the denizens of Grand Rapids from such chicanery? Indeed, how come there is even an opportunity for the law firm Dickinson Wright to take advantage of the taxpayers, when we already have full-time lawyers on the City payroll?
Where’s the City Comptroller whose sole charge is policing taxpayer funds? Why should the taxpayers have to pay for legal services tainted by a conflict of interest? The taxpayers of this City are, at the very least, entitled to a law firm’s loyalty when they buy its services. Clearly the taxpayers did not have Dickinson Wright’s undivided loyalty when they were also representing the developers seeking the subsidy.
But then why should mere professional ethics stop Dickinson Wright from feeding at the taxpayer trough?