Pawtucket Spent $273K in Legal, Consulting Fees for Construction of Failed PawSox Stadium

Friday, November 09, 2018


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Mayor Don Grebien refused to answer questions about the invoices

The City of Pawtucket spent over $273,000 in expenses to outside lawyers dating back to when the owners of the Pawtucket Red Sox first indicated they were looking to build a new stadium in 2015 — through the latest unsuccessful effort in 2018.

The information was secured via an access to public records request submission.

Eight-five pages of invoices from the law firm of Orson and Brusini in Providence show the billable hours dating back to March 2015 to lawyers whose hourly rates ranged from $200 an hour to $350 an hour — but generally averaged $290 an hour. 


The revelation of the expenditure comes at a time when Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien announced the Day after Election Day that he is urging state leaders including Governor Gina Raimondo and Commerce RI to sit down with Hasbro officials in an effort to keep the global entertainment company from leaving Pawtucket.

Hasbro’s global headquarters is located in Pawtucket although they have two other major facilities in Rhode Island — one on Narragansett Boulevard in East Providence and the other in downtown Providence.

Grebien did not respond to inquiries about the costs incurred by the city for the PawSox -- or what he anticipates will be the city's legal costs now as it looks to keep Hasbro.

Breakdown of Money for Lawyers, Consultants

The charges outlined in the invoices from Orson and Brusini also included charges for stadium feasibility studies conducted by consultant Lee Esckilsen at $200 an hour, totaling over $8,600.

$5,000 was paid for the services of Sweeney Appraisal for a real estate appraisal of the Apex and Tidewater properties conducted in April 2017; Sage Environmental was paid $4,578 for environmental services. 

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Hundreds of thousands spent and Pawtucket officials refuse to answer questions

Worcester Paid Nearly an Identical Amount in Fees, But Won

In Worcester, the City spent nearly $287,600.70 for consulting services to help land the PawSox, according to data released by the city.

And included in that number is the City paid consultants more than $64,000 to study the deal and prepare the letter of intent.

Consultants from the law firm Foley Hoag and Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College, spent just over 146 hours providing services to the city in May, June and July, according to information from MassLive.

For those 146.2 hours of consulting provided through May, June and July, the city paid a total of $109,539.85.


Related Slideshow: City of Pawtucket Legal, Consulting Fees for New PawSox Stadium


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