Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker approves up to $500,000 for private legal fees on collective bargaining bill. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 7/29/2011)
Excerpt: Walker signed a special counsel contract with the Madison office of Michael Best & Friedrich on Feb. 7, four days before unveiling the bill, public records show.
The contract authorized payment at the rate of up to $300 an hour, to a total of $100,000.
Additional tasks, including two recent federal lawsuits challenging the bill, have since been assigned under the contract.
Cullen Werwie, spokesman for the Republican governor, said the contract was amended a few days ago and "the maximum was adjusted to $500,000."
Signing the contract for Michael Best & Friedrich was attorney Raymond Taffora, a month after he left his job with the state attorney general's office, which usually represents the state on legal challenges.
Werwie said the firm was hired "at the request of the attorney general's office" to review the budget-repair bill and provide other legal services the office could not. [Emphasis added.]