The state has yet to pay a Wisconsin representative’s lawyer for his work on a lawsuit concerning the passage of the collective bargaining bill last spring.
Bob Jambois, attorney for Rep. Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, has not yet been paid for his legal services for the case, Barca’s spokesperson Erik Greenfield said in an email to The Badger Herald.
Jambois said he submitted his bill in June and has been waiting since then to receive his payment.
He added he never expected payment would be an issue. Because he works out of a “small mom and pop law office” with his wife, Jambois said he would most likely take legal action, or perhaps other measures, if the Assembly refuses to pay his bill.
“[I would] sic my partner on them,” Jambois said. “Hell hath no fury like an unpaid legal partner.”
Greenfield confirmed all other attorneys in the case, including those for Secretary of State Doug La Follette and Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller have already been paid. Greenfield said only the Assembly Republicans have refused to pay all the legal bills.
Both Jambois and Greenfield explained the Assembly is legally obligated to pay the legal bills.
According to Jambois, if a state representative is being sued, he can seek representation from the attorney general. If the attorney general declines, he can seek private council. This is what Barca did in the collective bargaining suit.
Michael Hintz, Wisconsin State Coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, said the Legislature’s inability to pay so far does not appear to be malicious or political.
“[The Assembly's lack of payment] does not seem sinister,” Hintz said. “It’s just a matter of timing.”
It is the procedure of the Assembly that attorneys are not paid until cases are filed, Hintz said, and this case did not get filed until Oct. 24. He said the Assembly is being true to its methods, and the delay is nothing new in the government.
In regards to Jambois being the only attorney not paid, Hintz mentioned that other attorneys are being compensated through different offices and different procedures. He said one cannot ignore the established methods of different offices involved.