Lake Buena Vista, Florida--
The court-appointed special counsel's investigation and report regarding the investigation of the Ted Stevens prosecution cost almost a million dollars. That total of $981,842 is only for the fees and expenses of the two lawyers--Henry "Hank" Schuelke and William Shields--who investigated the matter and prepared the report for the court.
That figure definitely does not include the fees for the lawyers for the prosecutors whose work came under scrutiny in the investigation. The fees of the lawyers for "the Stevens Six" came partly or entirely from their employer, the U.S. Department of Justice. [EXPANSION: As previously noted in this blog, records showed that the federal government had paid about $1.6 million to private attorneys for the government lawyers probed by the special counsel, with another $1.6 million going to pay for the defense of prosecutors facing a contempt of court finding for actions after the trial. USA Today had the original story, and www.mainjustice filled in additional details.]
Nor does that figure of nearly a million dollars cover the continuing defense costs of Williams & Connolly, the law firm which represents the interests of the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. [EXPANSION: As previously noted in this blog, the Anchorage Daily News reported in May of 2009 that Ted Stevens' last disclosure report to the Senate showed that he owed between $1 million and $5 million to Williams & Connolly.]
The fees for the special counsel's investigation and report are not the product of the high-fee culture of big law firms in major metropolitan areas. Schuelke and Shields only billed $200 per hour for their work on the report. This is less than half the hourly rate of what partners usually charge at leading law firms in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department also only compensated the lawyers representing the prosecutors under investigation at that same rate of $200 an hour.
This story was first reported by The Blog of Legal Times.