Magistrate recommends $7 million to attorneys who filed Oklahoma DHS lawsuit

A federal magistrate in Tulsa recommended a $7 million payment to the child advocacy group whose lawsuit forced DHS to make child welfare reforms.
by Nolan Clay Published: December 20, 2012
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In his recommendations on expense cuts, the magistrate judge specifically criticized the group for seeking reimbursement for such travel expenses as taxi rides in New York City for “working late.” He recommended the group not get $50,121 it is seeking for “other transportation.”

He recommended cutting $3,000 from the group's award because of instances “where it appears Children Right's picked up a meal tab for several diners or where the amount appears extravagant.”

In an emailed statement Wednesday, new DHS Director Ed Lake said, “We just received the magistrate's recommendations today but our initial reaction is that $7 million is excessive. The Legislature appropriated $4 million for attorneys' fees which we believe are reasonable. It would be a far better use of the state's resources to direct the difference in the amounts to the protection and care of the children served by DHS.”

by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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