Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood confirmed Tuesday to The Associated Press that he has hired former Attorney General Mike Moore and others to handle the state’s claims against BP PLC stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Hood hired fellow Democrat Moore, plus former state Supreme Court Justice Reuben Anderson and a forensic accounting firm to handle the state’s interests. Moore and Anderson signed a three-page contract with Hood dated Tuesday. Anderson works for the New Orleans-based Phelps Dunbar firm, while Moore heads his own firm in Flowood.
The hiring of Moore and Anderson comes as Republican lawmakers consider curtailing Hood’s powers to hire outside lawyers and control litigation for state agencies. That dispute stems from past suits by Hood and Moore that have resulted in big awards for Mississippi and big fees for private lawyers.
The Associated Press had been making inquiries since Thursday, when Yallpolitics.com blogger Frank Corder wrote that Moore had been hired. Moore did not return phone calls, and Hood’s office refused to confirm it until Tuesday.