Monday, March 13, 2017

Florida has spent almost $240 million on private lawyers since 2011

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 1:04 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JEREMY REPER
  • Photo by Jeremy Reper
Florida taxpayers have paid more than $237 million to private attorneys to defend the agendas of Gov. Rick Scott, his Cabinet officials and the Florida Legislature since 2011, according to an review by the Associated Press.

The AP reports state officials have spent a quarter of a billion dollars to defend the state in legal conflicts, including "a water war with Georgia and losing battles to test welfare recipients for drugs, trim the state's voter registration lists and ban companies that do business with Cuba from bidding on government contracts." The state also reimbursed almost $16 million in fees for their opponents' attorneys, bringing the total to $253 million. To put that into context, New York has spent $86 million on private lawyers since 2012, according to the AP.

Florida, apparently, has not been all that good about tracking how much it spends on outside attorneys because Attorney General Pam Bondi's office could not provide that data to the AP. With a legal budget of almost $309 million, Bondi's office already employs 450 state lawyers.

Read the rest of the report from the AP here.

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