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Tuesday, July 30, 2013
RICHMOND -- The bill to Virginia taxpayers for the private law firm that took over a review in April of Gov. Bob McDonnell's gifts from a political donor and businessman is up to $53,530 and climbing.
The firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott sent two invoices in June to the Republican governor's office for the review led by former Attorney General Anthony Troy, a Democrat. For more than three months, the firm looked into thousands of dollars in unreported gifts that McDonnell's family received from Star Scientific and the Virginia company's chief executive, Jonnie Williams.
Troy's July 18 report concluded that McDonnell broke no state law.
The legal bills cover a combined 225½ hours of work by Troy and seven other lawyers from April 26 through May 31. Hourly rates ranging from $170 per hour to the top rate of $250 per hour for Troy and four other attorneys in the firm are modest for high-powered national law firms.
Invoices are still forthcoming for hours that the firm's attorneys worked throughout June and for at least 18 days in July.
Troy and his team took over the case in April after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, withdrew his office , citing conflicts of interest.
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