The bill for defending Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials in state and federal criminal investigations into fund-raising practices has grown, with six city contracts for outside law firms now totaling more than $11.6 million.
The contracts, filed with the city comptroller’s office and obtained by The New York Times through a request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law, provide the bare minimum of detail as to their purpose other than representing city employees in possible grand jury hearings related to what the Law Department calls, in its paperwork, the “John Doe Investigation.”
Taken together, the contracts contain a constellation of white-collar criminal defense and trial lawyers from law firms big and small, as well as the maximum they can bill in the city’s defense: Debevoise & Plimpton, $10 million; Carter Ledyard & Millburn, $750,000; Walden Macht & Haran, $350,000; Lankler Siffert & Wohl, $250,000; Cunningham Levy Muse, $200,000; and Paul B. Bergman, P.C., $99,000.
Lawyers from the firms, all of which declined to comment on the contracts, are tasked with preparing witnesses who may be subpoenaed or asked to give testimony to a grand jury. State and federal grand juries have begun hearing evidence from prosecutors, according to people familiar with the matter.