Legal fee for Troopergate defense $185,000
TEXAS FIRM: Six legislators used services of a group whose focus is judeo-christian values.
Published: February 6th, 2009 11:59 PM
Last Modified: February 7th, 2009 12:00 AM
JUNEAU — New state gift disclosures
show it cost Liberty Legal Institute and the two law firms working with
it $185,000 to represent six Alaska legislators in an unsuccessful
lawsuit to halt their colleagues' "Troopergate" investigation.
The legislators listed a $25,000 gift of
services from the Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute. Liberty is the
legal arm of the Free Market Foundation, which is associated with
evangelical leader James Dobson's Focus on the Family, and lists its
guiding principles as limited government and promotion of
Judeo-Christian values. The lawmakers also disclosed a $120,000 gift of
services from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a national firm that
appeared at hearings on behalf of Liberty Legal.
Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson represented the six legislators in
the case as well, and turned to Liberty Legal for its constitutional
expertise. The lawmakers reported a $40,000 gift of services from
That brings the total bill for their lawsuit to $185,000.
The attorneys had hoped to recoup legal fees in a victory. But the suit was dismissed last fall.
The six legislators who filed the suit are Wes Keller, Mike Kelly, Fred
Dyson, Tom Wagoner, Carl Gatto and Bob Lynn. All are Republicans.
Gatto said the legislators didn't have anything to do with the amount spent on the suit.
"I said so, who is paying who to do this? And they said they were
volunteering, the attorneys were volunteering. Then I discovered I had
to report it as gifts. So I did," the Palmer Republican said.
Gatto said he has no regrets about his involvement.
"If you feel like there is an injustice being done you have a right to file a lawsuit," he said.
Peter Maassen, the lawyer who defended the Legislative Council against
that lawsuit and two others seeking to stop the "Troopergate"
investigation, was surprised his foes listed $185,000 as their costs in
the court action.
"Wow," he said.
Maassen said the Legislature paid him $29,845 for defending against the three lawsuits.
(full article here.)
A couple of points:
The investigation into the firing of Monegan was initiated by a committee of the legislature composed of four Democrats and eight Republicans, which voted unanimously on this. In July.
Long before Palin was even the tiniest blot on the national consciousness.
The investigation was always intended to end in October.
The lawsuit brought by these legislators was an effort to bury the results of the investigation until after the election.
The report, issued in October by the Legislative Council did in fact implicate Palin of abuse of power.
The interesting thing about this particular article, btw: who was willing to shell out big bucks to sweep it all back under the carpet.
[Edit] Afterthought. Wonder who will end up being the bucks behind all the Coleman lawsuits in Minnesota? The ones keeping one more Democratic vote out of the Senate….