Forestville For free? $222,475 later

Something just does not seem right.

After years of collecting big bucks from Forestville, former village attorney Michael Bolender has become a generous, kind-hearted sort. He now wants to continue to help the village with its water project. And, he will do it for free.

Free?

No cost?

From an attorney who billed the village – as a public employee, we note – $222,475 for work from 2009 to 2012, according to seethroughny.net?

What’s the catch?

Last month during a meeting, Trustee Ron Lineman also tried to figure out why the attorney who charged a village of 700 residents so much in the past is now not looking for payment.

“I don’t trust him,” Lineman said.

As the only trustee who opposed the motion to allow Bolender to continue his work on the project, Lineman was not the only one with suspicions on the offer that seemed too good to be true. “Will he do it honestly?” Trustee Mindy Borrello questioned.

Maybe Bolender was overcharging the village all along – and now he believes he needs to make up for it. During the same meeting, Lineman noted he had contacted a municipal agency that said Bolender had been overpaid.

Normally, for the type of work done, the attorney would receive $30,000 to $40,000. Instead, Lineman noted, he received five times that amount.

Bolender was not doing anything illegal, we must note. The Village Board members, in the past, had given their blessing on his compensation.

Again, it was nothing illegal. But it sure does seem dishonest and unfair to residents who were putting their faith in a board and its attorney.