Jul 272011
 

According to a recent article published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has spent an astonishing $38.5 million on outside legal counsel in the past four years.  This prompted the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to subpoena nearly $2.4 million in legal invoices from six major law firms retained by the Philadelphia Housing Authority.Carl Greene, the former director of the PHA, argued that his attorney-client privilege would be violated if the documents were released.  In response, the district judge ordered the release of a portion of the invoices, totaling approximately $1.6 million.  However, before releasing the remaining invoices, the judge required PHA’s attorney to review the documents for information that could potentially breach the privilege.  Finding that the remaining bills contained no information that would violate the privilege, the district judge ordered the release of an additional 24,100 pages of legal bills.   If the audit reveals that this expenditure cannot be justified, PHA will be required to reimburse the federal government millions of dollars.