Who pays Nenshi's legal bills after defamation settlement? Well, it's not totally clear
Out-of-court settlement with home builder Cal Wenzel prevents either party from talking
Now that an out-of-court settlement has been reached in a defamation case against Naheed Nenshi by Calgary home builder Cal Wenzel, it is not clear who will pay the mayor's legal costs.
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"I want to talk about this so bad and I can't talk about it — sorry," Nenshi said Wednesday.
The lawsuit, which began in November 2013, came from comments Nenshi made earlier that year on CBC's Calgary Eyeopener.
Wenzel was seeking $6 million in damages.
The two reached an out-of-court settlement this week, but the agreement prevents either of them from talking about it.
Now it's unclear who will pay Nenshi's legal costs, estimated to be around $100,000 — although it's not believed the mayor has received the final bill yet.
A Mount Royal University political scientist says there are lots of questions without answers at this point.
"There remains lots of speculation about how much was spent by Nenshi and who was paying for it," Duane Bratt said.
"Whether that was being done pro bono by a law firm, whether that was being done by donors of Nenshi, whether that was being paid by Nenshi himself — we simply don't know."
Nenshi would have to make an application to have his bill covered by Calgary taxpayers.
The city's law department has a reserve of funds to cover this type of expense, but Bratt says the issue would be discussed at an in-camera meeting — meaning the discussion would be closed to the public — and Nenshi would not be present.
However, the matter would be brought into a public meeting if council approved the payment, but it's not clear if the dollar amount would revealed.