We’ve been working with lead investigators at The Hayride and issue experts at the American Tort Reform Association to shine a light on the practice of hiring outside counsel within Attorney General Buddy Caldwell’s office. Take a look at what we found in the full article on WWL-TV and video here or read the brief excerpt below here:
The conservative blog site TheHayride.com used a public records request to gather all of the attorney general’s outside legal contracts, and Landry found that 13 firms that received much of the lucrative contract work had given a combined $277,000 to Caldwell’s campaigns….
…When we asked him why he doesn’t open the contracting process to a public review process, as is done with most professional services for government agencies, he said he needs to have a special level of trust with the lawyers he brings in.
“I just gotta do things my way,” he said. “I’m from a small town and you gotta know people, and you know if you’ve had contact with them if they’ve got a certain skill set.”
That’s precisely the problem, says Tiger Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association.
“To say there are only a handful of people I know and trust, that’s an unacceptable answer,” Joyce said. “And any reform would begin with the notion of public bidding for those services.”