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Kris Kobach tells Nebraska town he can still work for it while Kansas attorney g

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach continues to offer his legal services through his private practice.

Kobach, who had long been paid a $10,000 annual retainer by Fremont, Nebraska, told city officials that he can still represent them.

“In response to your question, Kansas law does not prohibit an attorney general from maintaining a private law practice in his personal capacity,” Kobach wrote in an email. “Nor are there any other constraints preventing me from assisting Fremont in the defense of the immigration ordinance.”

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach told the city of Fremont, Nebraska, that he can still provide legal services through his private law practice.

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach told the city of Fremont, Nebraska, that he can still provide legal services through his private law practice.

The email was sent at 10:06 p.m. Sept. 9 from Kobach’s private Gmail address to Fremont City Council member Paul Von Behren’s government email address. It was obtained by The Capital-Journal, after a tip, through a public records request with Fremont following the council’s Tuesday vote to accept the document into the record.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, including for any legal analysis, policies or guidelines on the matter — and whether staff attorneys are also permitted to maintain private law practices.

Von Behren said he hopes Kobach’s statement provides clarity to the city council.

“It’s been alleged several times here that Kobach is not eligible to represent the city of Fremont … so I asked him to just give us a simple statement,” he said.

Nebraska town has $1.35 million in fund if they need to hire Kobach

Kobach’s legal work for Fremont, which is a town of about 27,000 people roughly 40 miles northwest of downtown Omaha, is defense of the city’s immigration ordinance, which he wrote. The town’s voters approved the ordinance in 2010, but it did not go into effect until 2014 after withstanding the ACLU’s federal court challenge and incurring more than $600,000 in legal fees, the Associated Press previously reported.

The town still has a sizeable fund of $1.35 million committed to defending the immigration ordinance, if it were to see further legal challenges. The last payment from the fund went to Kobach, who had a $10,000 annual retainer with Fremont until the council ended its contract with Kobach Law LLC earlier this year.

But the money is still there should the city have need to hire Kobach, or someone else.

“When we stopped paying our lawyer a yearly fee, we said that money would be kept toward the defense fund if we ever needed it,” said council member Sally Ganem.

Ganem was the one who proposed canceling the contract with Kobach.

“The attorney general is the attorney for the state and its agencies,” Ganem said at a May meeting. “Let me be candid: No attorney general should be moonlighting representing a city of another state. And this contract needs to be terminated.”

More: Do you want to sue Joe Biden? Kansas AG Kris Kobach will pay an attorney up to $120,000.

The ACLU lost with a divided panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

But Fremont resident Brenda Ray worried that defense of the ordinance is not over.

“I don’t trust the ACLU, and having a little money that we can fight them with deters them just a little bit,” she said.

Jason Alatidd is a statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached by email at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @Jason_Alatidd.

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Kansas AG Kris Kobach says he can work as Nebraska town’s attorney