Lots of folks didn’t realize that Kenneth Feinberg, who is responsible for compensating victims of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is actually on BP’s payroll. Some believe that puts him in conflict with his role, which was supposed to be as an “independent” claims adjuster, and that can’t be good for the victims. The Gulf Coast Claims Facility that Feinberg runs has been criticized by Gulf Coast residents and policy makers for the slow pace of payments and the inadequate compensation being paid to the victims of the oil spill. Until recently, Feinberg had refused to disclose his compensation package even though numerous requests had been made to him. He finally did so, but only through a lawyer.
Thus far, Feinberg and his law firm have been paid more than $2.5 million in a little over three months to administer the $20 billion fund set up by BP to compensate victims of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP agreed to pay his firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP in Washington, a flat fee of $850,000 a month from mid-June through October 1st. The report was issued on Feinberg’s compensation by former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Interestingly, the compensation disclosure reveals that Feinberg is actually considered an employee of BP. Tyson Slocum, director of energy programs for Public Citizen, the Washington-based consumer advocacy group, believes this raises “concerns about the management of the fund.” Interestingly, Feinberg’s brother David is listed on the law firm’s website as director of special projects. The $850,000 monthly payments to Feinberg’s firm will continue through year-end and then will be reviewed. The public is entitled to a full disclosure relating to Feinberg’s compensation package and I don’t believe they have gotten it.
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