AG’s office: Same-sex marriage fight cost state about $7,000

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Responding to requests from Indiana Democrats, the Office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on Friday afternoon released records arguing the state’s defense of statutes banning same-sex marriage cost the state about $7,000.

“To the extent costs can be isolated from our overall budget, printing and filing fees totaled approximately $5,637 and related costs totaled approximately $1,379 during the six-month duration of the litigation,” spokesman Bryan Corbin said in a statement. “This is an insignificant amount relative to our annual agency budget of approximately $19 million.”

The statement said the time of Solicitor General Thomas Fisher and others in the AG’s office who drafted appeals unsuccessfully defending Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban were not counted in those calculations. The sum does include travel and expenses.

“Deputy attorneys general who work for the Office are paid a salary and do not track billable hours designated to specific cases. The marriage case was assigned to an in-house salaried attorney who would be paid the same regardless of whether plaintiffs’ lawyers had filed this lawsuit against the State or not,” the statement said.
Indiana State Democratic Party Chair John Zody on Sept. 8 made public records requests for detailed expenses related to all cases pertaining to the defense of the ban, records of hours spent by lawyers and staff on the cases, and correspondence between the AG’s office and the office of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence regarding the cases.

Chief Deputy Attorney General Matt Light replied that hours spent on the issue could not be tracked and that the request for communications between Republicans Zoeller and Pence were subject to attorney-client privilege and must be denied.

Corbin’s statement said the state did not employ outside counsel in appealing the same-sex marriage decisions that found the Indiana ban unconstitutional in federal court. The U.S. Supreme Court has chosen not to disturb rulings of Circuit courts around the country that have struck down state bans on same-sex marriage.

“Unlike other states that may have hired expensive outside counsel to defend their laws, the State of Indiana did not hire outside counsel and instead utilized internal resources to defend our State’s law, as is our duty and obligation.”


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