COURT

Lawyers in the city of Killeen’s class action lawsuit against Spectrum for underpaid cable franchise fees are still in the “coordinating” stage of the suit, according to an attorney from Austin-based Lloyd Gosselink.

In June, the Killeen City Council voted to enter a lawsuit with 32 other Texas cities after an independent audit said Spectrum had underpaid $2,252,213 in state-mandated franchise fees to those cities.

The city will seek $151,486 in back fees after Spectrum allegedly underreported “several categories” of revenue, leading to it paying less than its contracted 5 percent annual franchise fee.

Thomas Brocato, of Lloyd Gosselink, the lead attorney in the possible lawsuit, could not comment at length on the litigation, but said movement in the case could come soon.

“If something happens, it will be soon,” Brocato said.

In June 2017, Killeen joined 32 other cities to hire Richardson-based NewGen Strategies to analyze Spectrum’s franchise payment records for 2013-17.

In its report, Newgen found Spectrum had underpaid a total of $2,252,213 among the 33 cities.

On June 12, the council agreed to retain Austin-based Lloyd Gosselink law firm for trial litigation at a cost of $25,237.50.

According to the city, the cost to try the case for all 33 cities is $375,000.

According to a state law signed in 2005, cable companies are required to pay cities a 5 percent franchise fee of gross revenues for use of public right of way for operations. Those revenues are required to be used by cities for improving and maintaining public, educational or governmental access channels.

City officials will not comment on pending litigation, said city Director of Communications Hilary Shine.

kyleb@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

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