Mississippi Controversy

Under FBI Scrutiny, Balch Acknowledges “Billing Error” in Mississippi

Michael Rejebian summarized it best in an article in the Clarion-Ledger posted yesterday, July 24th:

“A billing error? We asked about this three years ago,” Rejebian said Friday. “So it begs the question: How many other ‘billing errors’ haven’t they found?”

Balch & Bingham is in the middle of an FBI investigation.

As the Clarion-Ledger reported in early July, “The probe looks at contracts granted by DEQ  [Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality] in an attempt to determine whether Fisher [the former DEQ director] personally benefited from them…. Under Fisher, private contractor and attorney Amy Whitten reaped nearly $2 million in DEQ contracts, either directly with the agency or through subcontracts with law firm Balch & Bingham.”

In yesterday’s story,  Balch and the DEQ acknowledged to the Clarion-Ledger that a trip paid by Balch was double-billed.

“Three years after a legal battle over invoice records, which included ambiguous plane tickets for the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality head and a private consultant, officials have revealed details about the trip. In the process, the agency discovered the contractor, who is currently under scrutiny by the FBI, double-billed for the tickets in an ‘inadvertent billing error,'” the newspaper wrote.

Balch has cut a check reimbursing the state, but questions linger.


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