Idaho Attorney General Wasden presses to hire in-house lawyers

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden told the Legislature’s budget committee Tuesday morning that spendy outside attorneys received about $6.5 million last year because Wasden doesn’t have authority to spend more on hiring his own staff.

Wasden said outside counsel make at least $125 an hour and as much as $250, while the average lawyer in his shop is paid $36 an hour.

For a full account of Wadsen’s budget pitch, read the Spokesman Review’s Betsy Russell.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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