Louisiana's attorney general has spent nearly $24 million building the state's legal case against BP over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. And records show much of the money has gone to outside law firms that have contributed to his campaigns.
The $15.4 million that Attorney General Buddy Caldwell has paid to outside lawyers accounts for about two-thirds of his total spending.
While Louisiana took a much harder hit than other states during and after the disaster, that spending far exceeds the contract work paid by Caldwell's counterparts. For instance, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has spent less than $200,000 by letting lawyers on his staff handle the work.
Caldwell says the complex case requires specialized expertise that his staff lacks. And he plans to ask lawmakers for the authority to spend more on it.