Time for Hayward and City to separate legal representation

The daily newspaper reported today that Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward “retained an attorney at the law firm of Beggs and Lane to handle his involvement in the federal investigation.” According to the paper, the mayor is personally paying for at least some of those legal expenses.

The federal grand jury is a serious matter. The mayor’s legal problems aren’t necessarily the same as the city of Pensacola’s possible legal issues with the Department of Justice. In fact, they may be in conflict.

Mayor Hayward should either use another law firm or discontinue using Beggs & Lane for city business. The mayor needs someone looking out for him, and the city needs legal advisers protecting the city. The Pensacola City Council needs to get involved and monitor the situation.

As much as some may want to believe, Mayor Ashton Hayward is not the city of Pensacola. Taxpayers’ dollars should only be spent to protect the city’s interests.

If ever there was a time for transparency, this is it. Hayward needs to seek out the best legal help possible for himself that he can personally afford, and David McGee at Beggs & Lane is a good attorney. The City of Pensacola needs to do the same. They should not be members of the same law firm.