Lawyers to get $400K contract to advise state on illegal gambling

Chris Rizo Apr. 2, 2009, 12:13pm

Bob Riley (R)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Legal Newsline)-The Alabama governor -- and a legislative committee -- has approved $400,000 in contracts to pay private attorneys to advise the governor's special task force on illegal gambling, officials said.

Republican Gov. Bob Riley had approved emergency contracts for the lawyers, drawing scrutiny from at least one Democrat on the Contract Review Committee, which ultimately made the contracts permanent Thursday.

Riley approved two emergency contracts to pay Matt Lembke, Michael Pennington and others from the Birmingham, Ala., law firm of Bradley Arant Rose & White LLP. One of the contracts was for $50,000 and another for $150,000.

Sen. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, argued that state law allows the governor to approve only one emergency contract.

Under the two-year contract approved Thursday, the advising attorneys would be paid $195 an hour, up to $250,000.

"There is not sufficient in-house legal resources to effectively advise the governor" on illegal gambling issues, the request to state lawmakers said.

Lembke served as lead counsel for Riley in a lawsuit over a disputed vote count in the 2002 gubernatorial election.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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