M&C Review


COUNCIL ACTION:  Approved on 2/12/2019 - Resolution No. 5046-02-2019

DATE: 2/12/2019 REFERENCE NO.: **C-29030 LOG NAME: 12GRETACOWARTJW
CODE: C TYPE: CONSENT PUBLIC HEARING: NO
SUBJECT:  

Adopt Resolution Authorizing the City to Retain Greta E. Cowart as Outside Counsel for Legal Services Related to Employee and Retiree Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Services and Authorizing Payment of Legal Fees in an Amount Not to Exceed $50,000.00 (ALL COUNCIL DISTRICTS)


RECOMMENDATION:

It is recommended that the City Council adopt the attached Resolution authorizing the City to retain Greta E. Cowart, as outside counsel in accordance with Chapter VI, Section 3 of the City Charter, for legal services related to employee and retiree health and welfare benefit plan services and authorizing payment of legal fees in an amount not to exceed $50,000.00.

 
DISCUSSION:

The Human Resources Department and the City Attorney's Office have requested that the City retain the services of Greta E. Cowart, with regard to the City's employee health and welfare benefit plans, in order to assist the City Attorney's Office in advising the Human Resources Department on legal issues related to such plans and other healthcare and benefits matters.

The City has previously engaged the legal services of Ms. Cowart in 2004 (M&C G-14301), 2005 (M&C G-14650), 2015 (M&C G-27268), and 2018 (M&C C-28523) to provide advice on a myriad of trust, federal tax and regulatory compliance issues as well as the City's self-insured health and welfare benefit plans, including, but not limited to, legal services regarding the IAFF Local 440's decision to provide health and related benefits through a trust for active fire fighters, fire fighter retirees and their eligible spouses and dependents.

Ms. Cowart was previously with the firm of Winstead, P.C. and now works with the firm Jackson Walker.

This area of the law represents some of the most complex material and consists of highly technical statutes, regulations, cases, letter rulings and other formal and informal guidance. While the City's legal and human resources staff routinely handle day-to-day matters in this area, complex issues periodically arise. Therefore, staff recommends engaging Greta Cowart as outside counsel because of her considerable experience in health care law, trust administration, municipal regulatory compliance and federal tax regulatory compliance.  

 
FISCAL INFORMATION/CERTIFICATION:

The approval of this action provides spending authority up to $50,000.00 as specified.  The Director of Finance certifies that funds are available in the current operating budgets, as appropriated and that prior to an expenditure being made, the using department has the responsibility to coordinate the availability of funds with the Law Department.

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Submitted for City Manager's Office by:
ALL ACMs (6222)
Originating Department Head:
Sarah Fullenwider (7606)
Additional Information Contact:
John Strong (7627)

 
 
ATTACHMENTS
  Cowart.1295_Redacted.pdf
  Cowart.Resolution.docx