As Keystone Politics has noted, AG Kane has been making big waves and keeping big promises during her short time in office.
However, Kane’s decision is not final. In fact, under state law, her ruling can be challenged in Commonwealth Court, and Governor Corbett has indicated that his administration may choose to go down that path.
A good question to ask Governor Corbett is how much a lawsuit challenging the Attorney General’s decision would cost the taxpayers of Pennsylvania.
In a statement yesterday, Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said that he “hope[s] Gov. Corbett will carefully weigh the cost to taxpayers before he decides to pursue this matter further.”
What might those costs be?
Baltimore-based law firm DLA Piper, the lawyers handling the private management agreement, charges pretty hefty fees.
According to the Treasurer’s website, we’ve already paid them around $400,000 for “legal services in matters relating to the procurement and execution of an alternative management model for the Pennsylvania Lottery.”
That’s hundreds of thousands, already gone, for nothing.
And a challenge in Commonwealth Court by Governor Corbett has the potential of costing even more.
The price we’ve paid so far does not include the price of litigation. Combining the cost we have already paid and the cost of a Commonwealth Court challenge, PA taxpayers could easily be looking at a million dollar tab for a failed deal that 8 out of 10 Pennsylvanians do not want to see happen.
Taxpayers may find some relief in the fact that the extra costs might be paid for by Camelot’s bid security.
However, if Camelot ends up footing the bill for litigating AG Kane’s decision, Camelot would be in an awkward position.
Imagine this PR disaster: a foreign, private company paying for Governor Corbett’s challenge of AG Kane’s ruling so that the contract can be handed over to the very same foreign, private company.
It’s not the best narrative going forward.
Governor Corbett needs to decide how much more time and money he wants to waste taking on a highly popular Attorney General for the sake of a deeply unpopular privatization plan.
It’s not worth it for him, and it’s not worth it for the taxpayers.