An overwhelming majority of the Billings City Council has voted to appeal a $2.7 million judgment in favor of the city’s police officers for longevity pay.  The 9-1 vote in favor of the challenge included one abstention and one vote by Councilman Mike Yakawich against the appeal.  Councilman Brent Cromley abstained because his employer, the law firm of Moulton Bellingham PC, is involved in the appeal.  The rest of the Council joined Mayor Tom Hanel in voting for the appeal, which may cost taxpayers up to $60,000 for outside lawyers.
Andy Forsythe, the city’s lead outside counsel on the case, gave the city council several reasons to appeal.  Meanwhile, the council voted 10-1 to extend the contract of City Administrator Tina Volek for one year.  Under the agreement, the city council must meet with Volek by Dec. 31 to discuss a raise in her salary of just over$130,000.