press spokesman for Secretary of State Mark Martin
, got back to me this morning on a question I posed about Blue Hog Report'
s note yesterday of some $26,000 of outside attorney fees paid by Martin's office in the last month.
Blue Hog wondered if Martin had resumed using outside legal counsel, despite having done so extralegally earlier. If that was the case, I asked, did Martin get statutorily required approval from the attorney general first?
Reed tells me the payments all were for work done in a variety of cases preceding Circuit Judge Tim Fox's
finding in an FOI case brought by Blue Hog that the secretary of state could not use the Quattlebaum law firm
in the case because he had not gotten clearance required by statute from the attorney general when the state's legal assistance isn't going to be used.
Reed declined to comment when I asked about a potential obejctiont to payments for services the office might not have been legally entitled to engage.