U.S. Senator Questions Housing Authority’s Legal Fees

January 13, 2011 / Russell Legato, Residential Property Analyst

About 20 Philadelphia law firms were asked by top US senator to provide information regarding Philadelphia Public Housing Authority’s legal fees and misused federal tax dollars. Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, wants answers about his analysis for the housing authority’s excessive and reckless spending of government dollars on legal fees.

U.S. Senator Questions Housing Authority’s Legal Fees

But so far, the senator hasn’t receive an answer from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who paid the for the housing authority’s legal fees. The department oversees and provides the housing authority of Philadelphia the majority of its annual budget of about $347 million.

So, on Wednesday, the senator Grassley went straight and sent 20 letters to various law firms in Philadelphia.

Senator Charles E. Grassley, from the Senate Finance Committee asked the law firms to provide information, including Ballard Spahr firm, a politically connected law firm, to detail how much the firm billed the housing authority since 2003.

Since 2007, Philadelphia Housing Authority has paid out about $33 million to 15 law firms, including the Ballard Spahr firm with about $9 million and about $8.3 million for Wolf Block, before the firm was disbanded in 2009.

The letter stated about wanting any written reports or summaries of its work, including exhibits or attachments.

According to Grassley, the local housing authority allegedly has a record of covering its tracks on where it spent government funds either improperly or in any way, which could embarrass its leadership.

Grassley’s Finance Committee has been studying spendingd by U.S public- housing authority or agencies, and gave the firms until January 31, 2011.

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