Springfield ordered to pay another $54K in panhandling cases

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – A federal judge has ordered the city of Springfield to pay another $54,000 to civil rights attorneys who represented two panhandlers in a legal fight over the city’s anti-panhandling ordinances.

The State Journal-Register reports that a judge ordered the city Monday to pay Chicago-based attorneys Mark Weinberg and Adele Nicholas about $43,000 for their legal work and another $11,000 in additional attorney’s fees.

City attorney Jim Zerkle says Springfield will appeal the $43,000 order.

Springfield has had two panhandling ordinances found to violate the First Amendment. The first of those, a ban on panhandling downtown, resulted in the city being ordered last year to pay $333,000 to the attorneys, who represented Springfield panhandlers Don Norton and Karen Otterson.

Both panhandlers received a $2,500 judgment under an agreement dismissing the case.