UPDATE: Secretary of State Mark Martin piles up attorney fees | Arkansas Blog

UPDATE: Secretary of State Mark Martin piles up attorney fees

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LOTS OF LAWYERING: By Secretary of State Mark Martin.
  • LOTS OF LAWYERING: By Secretary of State Mark Martin.
Blue Hog Report expands on a mention here yesterday of Secretary of State Mark Martin's use of the attorney general's office for an opinion on when legislation takes effect (90 days after a session ends for non-emergency bills, as always).

The office insists use of the attorney general is a matter of long custom on this question (but, as with all a.g. opinions, they are merely advisory and do not carry official force). A reader complained that Martin had a host of legal staffers and lawyers making comfortable salaries who could have reached the same, easy conclusion. They include his chief of staff, an office general counsel, a legal department lawyer and a couple of governmental affairs staff members.

Now comes Blue Hog to say those legal expenditures on our man in Azerbaijan's staff and A.G. help aren't the half of it. He details a list of payments by Martin to outside lawyers for assorted work.

Now, unless my math is all messed up, that’s another $103,747.27 in legal fees and “Professional & Administrative Fees” on top of the salaries already paid to in-house legal staff. I’m not sure what is says about Martha Adcock that, under her watch as General Counsel, over one hundred grand has been spent on outside legal help, but it can’t be good. But, then, “it can’t be good” could be the tagline for the entire Mark Martin reign to this point, so maybe this makes sense on that level. (Spoiler: It doesn’t.)

UPDATE: I wonder if the Republicans who complained about our mention of Mark Martin's junketing to Azerbaijan will suddenly decide Azerbaijani idyls are newsworthy now that the focus in Politico is on Democratic administration figures who also were junketing to a country in the news for human rights abuses?

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