INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana governor’s workplace racked up greater than $500,000 in authorized payments for its successful court fight towards an try by state legislators to provide themselves extra energy to intervene throughout public well being emergencies.
The state has paid nearly $520,000 to the Indianapolis legislation agency Lewis Wagner for its illustration of Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in the lawsuit, in line with information from the state auditor’s workplace.
The governor’s workplace didn’t instantly reply Friday to a request for remark.
Holcomb employed the legislation agency as Republican state Lawyer Basic Todd Rokita, whose workplace usually represents the state in courtroom, sided with the GOP-dominated Legislature within the dispute. The legislation aimed to provide legislative leaders authority to call the General Assembly into an “emergency session” after the governor declared a statewide emergency.
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The governor’s workplace first signed a contract with the legislation agency in July 2021 for as much as $195,000. That contract was amended in November and June to extend the utmost quantity to $525,000.
The legal professional common’s workplace, which represented the Legislature within the dispute, didn’t monitor the time its employees spent on the case or rent any exterior help, Rokita spokeswoman Molly Craft mentioned.
Regardless of the state Supreme Courtroom’s ruling that the legislation was unconstitutional, Rokita mentioned in an announcement that the governor’s authorized invoice “was a waste of Hoosier taxpayers’ hard-earned cash.”
“As we identified on this case, Indiana taxpayers already pay the workplace of the legal professional common to litigate all these issues on their behalf,” Rokita mentioned.
The state Supreme Courtroom’s resolution settled the authorized battle that lasted greater than a yr over the legislation that was a response to Holcomb’s efforts to take care of the COVID-19 pandemic. Holcomb’s attorneys contended that the state structure permits solely the governor to name the Legislature into conferences for consideration of latest legal guidelines exterior of its annual periods that start in early January and adjourn by the tip of April.
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