Press Releases

Board of Supervisors Oppose Attorney Bonus

County Executive Office - Press Release


County Executive Office
August 17, 1999
Contact: Diane Thomas

Board of Supervisors Oppose Attorney ‘Bonus’

(Santa Ana) - The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed this morning to oppose the additional fees being requested by the law firm of Hennigan, Mercer & Bennett that handled bankruptcy-related litigation for the County investment pool.

"As a member of the pool and, therefore, a client of Hennigan, Mercer & Bennett, we want to join with other pool members to vigorously oppose this grab for additional fees," said Charles V. Smith, Board Chairman. "The law firm did an excellent job for us and we’re entirely pleased with their performance. But they’ve already been well compensated with approximately $26 million. To ask for $48.7 million on top of that is unreasonable.

"My colleagues on the Board of Supervisors join me in asserting that the cities, schools, special districts, the County, and other agencies that are members of the investment pool have fiscal responsibilities to our constituents to safeguard taxpayer dollars," said Tom Wilson, Board Vice Chairman. "We can’t let this request go unchallenged."

Tom Hayes was named in the bankruptcy recovery plan as the investment pool’s independent representative regarding all litigation resulting from the bankruptcy. He negotiated the contract with Hennigan, Mercer & Bennett for legal representation against firms that had roles leading to the bankruptcy. Hayes has rejected the request by Hennigan, Mercer & Bennett.