Ohio AG's $26M in outside lawyers comes under fire

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state lawmaker has criticized Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine's process for selecting outside law firms.

Rep. Chris Redfern, Ohio's Democratic chairman, cited an August 2012 email in which DeWine appeared to direct his staff to give special counsel work to DeWine's campaign treasurer, Columbus attorney J.B. Hadden.

Lawyers at Hadden's firm donated generously to DeWine's campaigns.

Redfern objected Monday before more than $26.4 million in special counsel contracts over two years cleared the powerful state Controlling Board.

In the heavily-redacted email string, Hadden expressed interest in working on a particular case. DeWine directed, "Please make this happen unless there's a reason not to."

DeWine's special-counsel director told the panel that political ties and contributions are not factors in the staff's selection process.

A message was left with Hadden.

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