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DEP releases 'redacted' legal bill

The state Division of Environmental Protection on Wednesday released a copy of its bill from the private lawyers who are representing the agency in a federal court lawsuit over mountaintop removal.

DEP used a marker to black-out most of the information in the seven-page bill submitted from the law firm Bailey & Glasser.

Much of the bill, for example, simply shows that lawyers met for a certain amount of time with unidentified persons.

In a letter to The Charleston Gazette, lawyer Brian Glasser said the bill was being released "with proper redactions to protect the attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges."

The bill does show that Bailey & Glasser charged the DEP for nearly $6,000 worth of work performed before the firm's hiring was approved by Attorney General Darrell McGraw on April 9.

Lawyer Ben Bailey, for example, charged $507 for a 2 1/2-hour meeting March 1 with DEP Director Michael Miano.

Glasser charged $1,050 for seven hours he spent on April 1 meeting with DEP in-house lawyer Russ Hunter, preparing "for next moves" in the case and analyzing a hydrlogist's report.

Barbara Allen, a managing deputy to McGraw, has said she reviewed the bill and found the charges to be reasonable. Last week, DEP spokesman Andy Gallagher said that Bailey & Glasser had charged the state $43,000 in the firm's first monthly bill. Gallagher declined to release a copy of the bill, saying it contained material exempt from release under the attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges. Gallagher said a copy of the bill with exempt material removed would only be released if DEP were sued and lost. Bailey is being paid $195 per hour. Glasser is being paid $150 per hour.

 

To contact staff writer Ken Ward Jr., call 348-1702.

 


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