Lawyers for Abramoff's former employer want Coushatta records 5-23-07

OBERLIN, La. (AP) - Lawyers for former lobbyist Jack Abramoff's former employer have subpoenaed records from a Louisiana tribe that accused him and the company of mishandling $32 million of the tribe's money.

Attorneys for the firm of Greenberg Traurig want records from Lovelin Poncho, former tribal council chairman of the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana; former vice chairman William G. Worfel; former tribal attorney Katherine Van Hoof; and financial institutions doing business with the tribe.

The Coushattas sued Abramoff, Greenberg Traurig, and Michael Scanlon, owner of Capitol Campaign Strategies and Abramoff's former business partner, three years ago in state district court.

The Allen Parish tribe of more than 800 said it paid the lobbyists around $32 million in monthly retainers, starting in March 2001. It said they became aware of rumors and allegations of fraud and deceit in January 2004, and by August of that year had found overbilling, unfair trade practices and other wrongdoing.

It asks for legal fees and other unspecified damages.

The Alexandria law firm of Gold, Weems, Bruser, Sues and Rundell represents Greenberg Traurig, along with the Washington, D.C., firm Williams and Connolly. The Alexandria law firm filed the subpoenas.