Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1531

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_intro in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1533

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_fulltext in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1531

Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$image_intro in /home/indiancountrynew/public_html/plugins/content/social2s/social2s.php on line 1533

Law firm paid $1.2 million to collect Ho-Chunk gambling payments

Madison, Wisconsin (AP) 1-08

Wisconsin taxpayers have paid a law firm $1.2 million so far to collect gambling payments from the Ho-Chunk Nation, according to a letter from Gov. Jim Doyle’s office to the state Republican Party.

The fees have been paid to the Quarles & Brady law firm, and the lead lawyer in the case is Matt Flynn, a former chairman of the state Democratic Party, according to the letter first reported in the Wisconsin State Journal.

“How much money are we going to spend on this?” state Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, asked.

But a state spokeswoman said the legal fees have already paid off with a $30 million payment from the tribe.

“This has been very active litigation and what the state has been doing is pursuing the money the Ho-Chunk owes the state,” said Linda Barth, a Wisconsin Department of Administration spokeswoman.

The state contends the Ho-Chunk still owes $72 million as part of the tribe’s gambling compact with the state.

The tribe has argued that it owes nothing following a state Supreme Court ruling invalidating a similar compact. The $30 million payment was characterized by a tribal attorney as a “good faith” move.

When the state hired Flynn in 2005, the Doyle administration estimated the legal fees paid to firm would amount to $100,000.

Barth said such increased estimates are not unusual and it is never clear how long a complex legal dispute will last.

Matt Canter, a Doyle spokesman, said Flynn is skilled at complex contract negotiations and it is important that Wisconsin receives the payments.

Lester Marston, a California-based attorney for the Ho-Chunk, said the tribe wants to resolve the matter.

It sought arbitration after the state Supreme Court ruling, but the state unexpectedly filed suit against the Ho-Chunk in the middle of arbitration discussions, he said.

Barth said state officials filed suit because the negotiations were not working.

Marston declined to comment on how much he has been paid in the case.


0
0
0