WSJ – NY AG hopeful donated to Hood, got big case

Between Feb. 14 and 17, 2006, Mr. Coffey and four other attorneys at Bernstein Litowitz donated a total of $25,000 to Jim Hood, the attorney general of Mississippi. Mr. Coffey gave $5,000 of that. On Feb. 21, Mr. Hood hired the firm to represent the Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System in a securities-class action against Delphi Corp.

The suit was settled in 2007, netting lawyers in the case $40.5 million in fees. The firm, which has represented Mississippi’s pension fund in several other cases, has contributed more than $70,000 to Mr. Hood since 2006.

Representatives from Bernstein Litowitz did not return calls seeking comment.

In a statement, Mr. Hood said the hiring of outside counsel in securities cases has “zero relation to campaign contributions.” Mr. Hood said a dozen firms are on the state’s approved list of counsels. “The first of these firms to email or contact our office about a case gets to handle the case,” he stated.

Aug. 9
Wall Street Journal