A state lawmaker in charge of reviewing the money wants answers from the Attorney General. Joint Finance Committee Co-chairman Marc Pocan says JB Van Hollen is ignoring his request to reveal the cost of the lawsuit against the state elections agency. He says Van Hollen is "refusing to fulfill his fiscal responsibilities to the taxpayers."
Van Hollen unsuccessfully sued the Government Accountability Board for their refusal to double-check the identities of certain voters last fall; a suit which Pocan claims was "partisan" in nature.
Van Hollen initially said the suit cost $155 but the appeals process bumped the figure to $720. But the total price tag may not be known as the Attorney General says his office did not keep track of the hours his staff spent on the suit, because there was no way he could recover the money. Pocan doesn't believe the claim. He adds tracking staff hours is a standard practice even in the smallest of private law firms.
The Madison Democrat says he and fellow co-chairman Mark Miller will continue to press Van Hollen about this.
"We are going to be aggressive in getting the truth," says Pocan.
Pocan and Miller say the accountability board had $50,000 to defend the attorney general's lawsuit, so Van Hollen probably spent that much or more.