Recently in politics Category

February 20, 2008

Who does the CIA turn to for protection?

cia.jpgWho pays the legal fees when a CIA official is investigated for destruction of documents? Most likely, it's Wright & Co., a small company that insures CIA, FBI, DEA and other federal employees for legal hazards arising from their work. How many federal employees did Wright & Co. insure before 9/11? 17,000. And how many today? 32,000. Why the jump? Lawsuits and investigations over prisoner detainments and related issues. How much coverage does a typical policy provide? According to the New York Times, up to $200,000 in legal fees for administrative matters like investigations by Congress, an additional $100,000 is available for legal fees in criminal investigations, and up to $1 million in damages in a civil suit. How much does a standard policy cost? About $300 a year and the government pays half the cost for managers.

Bonus question: How can you explain the CIA to your kids? Send them to the CIA Kids' Page, of course.

January 30, 2008

Maybe they should call it "Con Bono"

sheriff.jpgHow much is the former sheriff of Orange County (charged with accepting cash, favors, and gifts) paying for his legal defense? $0. The mega firm of Jones Day is handling the case pro bono (although the ex-Sheriff will pay legal fees for the brief period before he resigned from office). How much does the Sheriff earn annually in retirement pay? $200K.

How much did Former Illinois governor George Ryan pay his lawyers at Winston & Strawn for defending charges of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, and tax fraud? $0. The firm handled it pro bono. How much did the defense cost? $20 million. Do you have to pay tax on pro bono efforts done on your behalf? Alas, that's a murky legal issue.

January 17, 2008

Politician, lobby thyself

whiskey.jpgCan an indicted state politician use election funds to pay his attorney fees? We'll find out when the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission rules on a request by an ex-state senator indicted on bribery.

Why was the politician indicted? The senator was paid a salary by a medical school in exchange for doling out state grants to them. In addition, he was also accused of steering work to his law firm while enjoying an expense account that included, among other things, $50 shots of Glenlivet. (Wondering what a $50 glass of whiskey tastes like?)