- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Legal bills for Sen. Robert Menendez related to Justice Department and Senate Ethics Committee investigations into his ties to a major donor have reached about $1 million.

New filings released through the IRS late Wednesday show a legal expense fund set up in late January took in $357,750 during the third quarter spanning July through the end of September. It spent $290,644 during that time.

The sum includes payments of $95,000 and $62,597 for legal services to the Washington law firm Coburn and Greenbaum and $109,553 to the firm McDermott Will and Emery.

The fund paid out $258,387 the previous quarter, earlier records show. That’s in addition to more than $400,000 previously paid by the senator’s campaign, a spokeswoman for his office confirmed. That puts the total at around $1 million.

The New Jersey Democrat has been under investigation over his ties to Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen, who was his top political donor as the senator sought re-election in 2012.

Melgen’s practice gave $700,000 to Majority PAC, a super political action committee set up to fund Democratic candidates for the Senate. Aided by Melgen’s donation, the super PAC became the largest outside political committee contributing to Menendez’s re-election, spending more than $582,000 on the senator’s behalf.

The latest filing was first reported by NJ.com.

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