What Gulf Coast Congressman Gene Taylor wanted the Easter Bunny to bring him.
South Mississippi Living 4/07

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Who will pay Insurance Department's legal bills?

Official planned to bill State Farm

The Mississippi Department of Insurance had planned to bill State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. for Deputy Commissioner Lee Harrell's legal fees for testimony in a policyholders' lawsuit, but has backed off that position.

Instead, Harrell said Monday that State Farm will cover only the portions of his testimony about the department's ongoing market-conduct examination of the company. State law allows the Department of Insurance to bill insurance companies for fees associated with such examinations.

However, Harrell said during his sworn pre-trial testimony June 7 in McIntosh v. State Farm the Attorney General's Office had agreed State Farm would pay for his attorney, James P. Streetman III.

Attorney General Jim Hood disagreed. On Friday, he released a statement that said: "At no time did the Attorney General's Office authorize the Department of Insurance to have its legal representation paid for by an insurance company in any matter other than the market-conduct survey. To do so would be a conflict of interest and MDI should know that."

Read the rest of the Sun Herald story.

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