Corruption

Legislator-Lawyers Make a Mint from the State

South Carolina lawmakers rake in millions in legal fees

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For some lawyers, it pays to be a state legislator.

Nearly 30 South Carolina attorney-lawmakers or law firms they worked for collectively earned more than $5.3 million in legal fees from state and local government agencies in 2011, according to The Nerve's review of the legislators' most recently filed income-disclosure forms.

Under state law, lawyer-legislators must disclose any public, not private, income that they or their firms received in the previous calendar year. Those legal fees are reported on their statements of economic interests filed annually with the State Ethics Commission.