Spill Fund Czar’s Big Paycheck


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.

Fact:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn’t fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing the type of journalism that 2018 demands.

Donate Now
  • Kate Sheppard was a staff reporter in Mother Jones' Washington bureau from 2009 to 2013. She is now a senior reporter and the energy and environment editor at The Huffington Post. She can be reached by email at kate (dot) sheppard (at) huffingtonpost (dot) com and you can follow her on Twitter @kate_sheppard.