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 this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

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