Spill Fund Czar’s Big Paycheck

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Kenneth Feinberg, the mediator tapped to head the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, has brought in $3.3 million for his work since taking over leadership of the $20 billion fund BP has set aside to compensate victims of the spill. The figure was reported in BusinessWeek this week. It was released after months of inquiries from the press about how much his firm would be compensated for their work.

I profiled Feinberg in September. At the time, people were raising questions about whether it was a good idea for the fund administrator to be paid by BP. But as Feinberg pointed out, BP was the party at fault and should be obligated to pay for his services. Unlike the previous funds he’s administered pro bono, there was an actual liable party here, he said.

A spokesperson for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility confirmed that the $3.3 million figure, providing a document dated Oct. 8, 2010 stating that BP had agreed to pay $850,000 per month to Feinberg’s law firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP, starting in mid-June 2010. The current contract continues through the end of the year, at which point it will be up for review.

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In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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