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Rick Scott gets outside counsel for pension lawsuit

Following a suggestion from Gov. Rick Scott, the Alston and Bird law firm has been hired to represent Scott and other state officials in a lawsuit challenging the state's new pension law. The law requires state employees to contribute 3 percent of their paychecks to the state's general revenue fund to off set state contributions to the retirement plan. Several unions are suing, arguing the payments are unlawful and unconstitutional. 

The contract, approved by the Department of Management Services on Aug. 3, allows the Alston and Bird law firm, which has offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta and other cities (not in Florida), to charge up to $60,000 under an initial agreement. Attorney General Pam Bondi approved a total contract of $400,000 for attorneys fees and $100,000 for costs. Although rules generally limit attorney's fees to $200 per hour, Management Services received a waiver from Bondi to pay $495 an hour. "Authorization is provided because the necessary legal expertise is not currently available on staff," Bondi's memo to Department of Mangement Services says.

"These lawyers have been working for DMS for quite some time. There are relatively few people who do pension work," said Scott spokesman Brian Burgess. Although Scott suggested the outside counsel, "all the parties have agreed to be represented by these attorneys," Burgess aid.

Defendants in the suit are Scott, Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who serve as trustees of the State Board of Administration, which oversees Florida's $134 billion retirement fund.

Comments

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lmmd

what a waste of taxpayer monies. For all the lawsuits against rick scott, monies that have been expended on attorneys could have saved state jobs. WHAT A HYPOCRITE SCOTT IS!

Jim

See..he doesn't trust State employees (DMS).

Peter Ricci

Gee state law says 200 hr for lawyer fees but they break even more rules by changing that to almost 500 an hour. One hand feeding another.

D Cook

"Let's get to work!" He must have been referring to giving jobs to lawyers!

B. Porter

Isn't it a conflict of interest for Bondi, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, to approve an exemption to the $200/hr limit?

Jeff

I can not believe this mess. I can not wait for the next election. I pray we elect someone who is for the people of Florida. I can not understand why one would say "lets get to work" and than want me to pay for my own labor.

My wife might like this deal and say:
I need a housekeeper, if you do a good job you only have to pay me a hundred dollars.

R J

"Let's get to work" He must have been referring to paying out of state folks to help stick it to Florida workers!

dd

The state can handle death penalty trials but not a pension case?

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