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WASTEBUSTERS: State’s legal expenses top $6 million in May

Missouri's legal expenses totaled $6,064,739 in May, according to the Attorney General report on the Legal Expense Fund.

That amount represents the highest monthly total that the fund has expended in at least 18 months.

"We represent the people, but we also represent all the different agencies in the state of Missouri," said Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt. "No matter what the issue is, we're the lawyers. We do everything we can to represent the state's interest the best we can, whether that's by way of settlement or taking the case ultimately to trial."

Nearly $5 million of that May sum was paid to Patricia Daniels, a former Kansas City teacher who was awarded the money in a discrimination lawsuit against the Missouri Department of Social Services. 

Schmitt told ABC 17 News Wednesday that his office takes transparency very seriously and that Missouri leads the nation in that effort.

"Our main focus is really to be as transparent as we can," said Schmitt. "We want to have a culture of professionalism and uphold the rule of law in this office."

In 2017, the total expenditures from the Legal Expense Fund was  $22,938,187, in 2018, the total was $27,788,512 and in the first five months of 2019, $15,211,620 has been spent in the state's legal costs.

Total 2017
$22,938,187
January 2018$4,248,375
February 2018$5,764,413
March 2018$4,680,699
April 2018$319,232
May 2018$3,821,958
June 2018$565,487
July 2018$1,358,222
August 2018$1,825,299
September 2018$38,968
October 2018$1,971,652
November 2018$376,409
December 2018$2,817,797$27,788,512
January 2019$1,121,524
February 2019$1,297,023
March 2019$1,487,481
April 2019$5,240,853
May 2019$6,064,739$15,211,620
ABC 17 News Investigates / Missouri / Missouri Politics / News

Joe McLean

Joe reports stories all across mid-Missouri, including our WasteBusters series of reports, and co-anchors ABC 17 News at 9 a.m. with Zara Barker.

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