The Tulsa Authority for the Recovery of Energy will pay $2,500 in legal fees for former trustee Beverly Anderson.
Anderson and other board members at the time were named in a 2011 lawsuit against TARE by Tulsa Refuse Incorporated, which was then contracted as the city's trash hauler.
Chairman Richard Sullivan told TARE board members this week that paying the fees is the proper thing to do.
"If we are pursuing TARE board matters to the best of our ability and something like this were to happen, I would hope the TARE board would be there for us," he said.
In the lawsuit, TRI alleged violations of the state's open meetings act by the TARE board during the bidding process for trash service.
Anderson paid $2,500 for outside counsel. Court documents show board members attempted to censure Anderson after she made comments critical of the TARE board.
City Manager Jim Twombly told board members this week that the process for paying members' legal fees needs to work differently should one of them seek outside counsel again.
"I think in the future, that's the route we should go. We should be sure that before an individual member goes off and gets independent counsel, that they would seek approval from the TARE board to do that," Twombly said.