Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) sparked a lot of deserved outrage after he requested state resources to pay for his personal legal defense, but according to a local watchdog group the governor’s actions may not be legal.
Progress Michigan filed a legal complaint this morning challenging Governor Snyder’s plan to use taxpayer money to cover his legal expenses.
On a call with press on Friday, Lonnie Scott, Progress Michigan Executive Director, said that the group believes state law requires him to set up a legal defense fund to raise private money to cover the costs of dealing with any criminal charges, of which there are at least two lodged against him, and disclose those sources. “This is clearly for Snyder’s personal legal defense,” Scott said. “Governor Snyder has a net worth of roughly $200 million. He can certainly afford and should be required to pay for his own legal bills.”
I remain skeptical that Governor Snyder himself will face any consequences, but he is preparing for that possibility.
The state has currently set aside $1.2 million for legal fees.
LANSING, MI — Gov. Rick Snyder has retained $1.2 million worth of legal services in relation to the Flint water crisis and is paying one attorney $540 per hour, records show. […]
Details released by Snyder’s office Thursday provide the hourly rates for attorneys. The highest-paid attorney will make $540 per hour.
For perspective, Paul Clement was paid a similar amount by the Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in front of the Supreme Court.
While the state is currently paying an attorney $540 per hour, several others are also being paid $400 per hour.