Gov. Rick Perry has billed taxpayers $133,000 to hire several lawyers to defend him against public corruption allegations, his office confirmed Friday.
That’s more lawyers and more state money spent than previously disclosed.
After Perry was criticized about the taxpayer expenditures, the governor’s office announced he would use campaign funds from now on to compensate his legal team.
But taxpayers have already spent $98,000 to hire Botsford & Roark, the firm of his lead criminal defense attorney David Botsford, who charges $450 an hour. Previously, state records — which take a while to show up in the government’s accounting system — showed taxpayers had spent $80,000 on Botsford’s firm.
Perry’s office also spent $15,000 to hire the Houston-based law firm Baker Botts and $19,890 to hire attorney Jack Bacon. The total came to $132,890.
Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said in an email that the cost of the legal fees were “associated with the grand jury case involving Gov. Perry and Governor’s Office staff.”
Mm hmm. Look, I’ve already that Perry has a decent argument to make that at least the grand jury portion of his legal bills ought to be paid for by the state, even if that would be unprecedented. The total cost isn’t up that much, and I’m sure this was just a matter of some paperwork being filled out later than some other paperwork. But I’m also sure that Perry’s team knew when they made that announcement about his campaign paying his legal costs going forward just how much we the people were about to be stuck with. They could have been up front about it, but given their usual desire to hide the facts plus Perry’s self-serving reasons for the change in policy, I wouldn’t be surprised if this figure isn’t the full and final total, either. It’s just how Rick Perry operates.