Visclosky Pays $185,000 in Legal Fees for Ex-Staffers and Himself

Posted January 29, 2010 at 5:10pm

Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) emptied his campaign coffers of more than $185,000 to cover legal bills — both for himself and former aides — in the final quarter of 2009, bringing his legal bills to more than $285,000 last year, according to campaign finance reports.

The Indiana lawmaker is the subject of a federal investigation into lawmakers’ ties to the PMA Group lobbying firm that was raided by the FBI in late 2008, as well as an unspecified House ethics committee investigation.

In his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, Visclosky reported an October payment of more than $140,000 to the law firm Steptoe & Johnson. He has previously reported payments to the firm totaling $100,000.

In addition, Visclosky reported payments made on behalf of both his former chief of staff, Charles Brimmer, who resigned in June after being served with a subpoena as part of the federal grand jury probe of the PMA Group, and former Appropriations Committee aide Shari Davenport, who is now at the Energy Department.

Visclosky received permission from the FEC in August to pay legal bills associated with his current and former staff. He has previously stated that his office received subpoenas from the Justice Department.

Visclosky’s campaign reported three payments totaling nearly $42,000 on Brimmer’s behalf to the law firm Bryan Cave. It also made two payments on Davenport’s behalf totaling $2,700 to Nixon Peabody.