- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state of Iowa has spent $55,000 so far defending itself against a lawsuit challenging a new collective bargaining law.

An invoice reviewed this week by a state council shows the Belin McCormick law firm in Des Moines charged the amount on behalf of four lawyers and a paralegal. They worked more than 175 hours between Feb. 20 and March 30 on a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61.

The outside counsel was hired after Attorney General Tom Miller announced he wouldn’t defend against the lawsuit to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest because public sector unions have previously supported him.

Documents show the state plans to use the same firm on a separate collective bargaining lawsuit filed by Iowa State Education Association.

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