Kauai seeks to reduce county litigation costs

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - Kauai county attorneys want to create a litigation team to reduce the amount of money spent on hiring outside counsel.

First Deputy County Attorney Mauna Kea Trask says adding one new position this year would save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Garden Island reported Monday Kauai is the only county in the state that doesn't have a litigation team that includes attorneys specializing in specific areas of law. The county often relies on hiring private attorneys to handle litigation, including a recent high-profile lawsuit against the county regarding genetically modified crops.

Trask says outside counsel generally costs the county about $200 to $400 per hour, while county attorneys charge $35 to $45 per hour.

Councilman Mel Rapozo questions how one position will be able to achieve significant savings.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.