Before the legislation to pay the attorney was read into the record, Councilman Shields asked Councilman Motznik to chair the rest of the meeting.
Dumbfounded, Motznik asked that the President Pro Tem (Councilman Burgess) fulfill that duty instead, or failing that the Finance Chair (Councilman Peduto).
However, all four of them were fleeing from the room.
To considerable mirth, Councilman Motznik then ascended to the dais, and asked to bring the legislation to a vote. Councilman Dowd asked for a moment to review the rules of council, but discovering that the absences did not necessarily inhibit council's power to act, Motznik went on to ask the clerk to read the bill into the record.
Motznik started the discussion by stating he was "a bit confused at the animosity" he and Dowd were receiving for requesting a legal opinion, as neither of them wrote the legal opinion themselves.
Dowd stated that "if there were any unintended consequences" of his raising concerns with the Law Dept, he "genuinely apologizes." He also pointed out that the Law Dept had clarified for him that he personally had no conflict of interest in the matter, so he was free to vote after all.
The vote to approve the measure proceeded as follows: Councilman Deasy nay, Councilman Dowd nay, Councilwoman Harris abstaining, Councilwoman Payne aye (a surprise), and Councilman Motznik nay.
Interim President Motznik then began to say that by a 3-1 vote the motion failed, but several in the room corrected him that due to procedural issues of a failure to secure a majority vote, the motion was merely tabled. At this, the remaining four council members poured back into the room, having delayed the vote and having not admitted to any conflicts of interest.
Councilman Shields took control of the dais again, to Motznik's amused chagrin.