In 2012, the City of Chester retained John P. McLaughlin and his then law firm to represent it in matters related to, among others, the arbitrations and appeals of the arbitration awards in favor of the police and firefighter pensions. 1 The City, with Mr. McLaughlin as counsel, did not appeal those awards. The Receiver now claims that those awards, and the failure to meet the payments under them, is what has caused much of the City of Chester’s fiscal crisis.2
Yet, it appears that after the Receiver was appointed by the Commonwealth Court on June 22, 2020, he hired to represent him the very same lawyers that represented the City in 2012 — Mr. McLaughlin, and his law firm, Campbell Durant.3
Making matters even more complicated is that Campbell Durant was representing the City in matters that pre-date the Receiver, and appears to have continued to represent the City and be paid by the City since that time.4
How can the same law firm represent both the City of Chester and the Receiver? Who is representing the interests of the residents of Chester if the attorneys for the City government and the DCED Receiver are the same?
1 See Mayor Linder’s February 8, 2012 Letter, posted below.
2 See Chester Recovery Plan, posted at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f721f5325ced83982f1d194/t/5f7b580145b2d750b4c1debc/1601918983266/Chester-Receiver-Recovery-Plan_FINAL_20200820.pdf
3 See Receiver’s Preliminary Status Report filed and signed by John P. McLaughlin and Campbell Durant PC at: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f721f5325ced83982f1d194/t/5fa32fcd6d80950fe31aba35/1604530154263/Receiver+Status+Report_20201103.PDF
4 See City of Chester Check Register (obtained through right to know requests), showing payments from the City to Campbell Durant for matters that pre-date the Receiver (pgs. 1, 10, 27), and payments since the Receiver’s appointment through the end of 2020 (pgs. 34, 40, 43, 47, 51, 54, 57, 59, 63, 66, 70).