How Balfour ran up a legal tab of $156,787

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Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville), who was recently indicted and then acquitted on theft charges related to inaccurate expense claims he filed with the state, is demanding through his lawyer that the state pay him back $156,787 in legal fees.

Balfour’s lead attorney, Ken Hodges, sent a letter to the state Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) this week asking for the reimbursement in the wake of Balfour’s acquittal by a Fulton County Superior Court jury.

The letter breaks down Balfour’s legal fees this way:

  • $52,484 to the Duluth law firm of Andersen Tate & Carr for legal work during the initial phases of the criminal investigation. Pat McDonough charged Balfour an hourly rate of $375 for 76 hours of work. Associates and staffers performed 118 hours of work at rates ranging from $160 to $225 an hour.
  • $97,093 to Hodges and William Hill, who represented Balfour at trial. They charged Balfour a flat fee of $75,000 plus $7,093 in expenses. They charged Balfour an additional $15,000 for post-trial legal work. Hodges billed at the rate of $450 an hour while Hill’s services cost $500 per hour.
  • $7,210 for legal work performed by Joshua Ehrich, “a recent law school graduate at a deeply discounted rate to assist with research and working with evidence and witnesses.” This comprised 103 hours at a rate of $70 per hour.

Under Georgia law, Attorney General Sam Olens will review the request and determine whether the rates are reasonable.

“Once the reasonable of the fees has been approved by the Attorney General, please remit a check in the amount of $156,787.60 to Senate Donald K. Balfour,” Hodges said in his letter to DOAS.

“You can send it directly to him at the address on file with the Fiscal Office of Legislative Affairs,” Hodges added.

© 2014 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: criminal trial , DOAS , Don Balfour , Ken Hodges , legal fees , Sam Olens