Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

State Audit Questions Payments to Lawyer He Got Equivalent of Two Full-Time Jobs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

State Audit Questions Payments to Lawyer He Got Equivalent of Two Full-Time Jobs

Article excerpt

State taxpayers paid lawyer Curtis Hanrahan for what amounted to two full-time jobs last year.

As an administrative assistant for then-House Majority Leader Bob Ward, Hanrahan got about $45,000 a year.

As a contract attorney for the Division of Child Support Enforcement, Hanrahan billed the state for about 2,000 hours of legal work. That added close to $30,000 to his annual pay from the Legislature.

State Auditor Margaret Kelly turned up the information in an annual audit. She said the child support agency should have checked Hanrahan's billing records more closely. Her audit found that:

Hanrahan billed for more hours than his contract authorized.

The state reimbursed him for excess mileage in four instances.

Hanrahan charged the state for eight- to 11-hour shifts without breaks on 195 days.

For instance, during the busy legislative session from January through mid-May 1995, Hanrahan reported that he spent most of his weekends working on child support cases. He billed the state for eight- to 11-hour nonstop shifts on many Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Kelly said: "If the division had effectively reviewed these billings, questions may have been raised about the reporting and charging of long, continuous blocks of work without any breaks for meals or other interruptions."

In addition to being a full-time state employee and contract attorney, Hanrahan operated a private law practice. Given Hanrahan's roles, "the need for these routine monitoring procedures is further enhanced," the auditor said.

Hanrahan could not be reached for comment Tuesday. He no longer has either state job. His contract with child support enforcement was not renewed when it expired last November. He left Ward's office last December when Ward, D-Bonne Terre, stepped down as majority leader and no longer had funds to pay an assistant.

Hanrahan made news last year when the Post-Dispatch reported that he, Ward and Ward's secretary billed taxpayers for almost $6,000 in expenses when they went to a conference in San Diego. …

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