Senators vote to restrict Hood’s power to hire attorneys

JACKSON — Senators still support efforts to limit Attorney General Jim Hood’s power to hire outside lawyers.

The Senate amended House Bill 211 and sent it back to the House yesterday on a 35-17 vote with little debate.

The Senate would limit the share of a verdict that outside lawyers could be paid as a contingency fee. It would require the attorney general to appoint outside lawyers if he declined to represent an agency or had a “significant disagreement” on legal strategy with an agency head or elected official.

A board including the governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of state would choose between the attorney general and other officials if conflicts arose.

Some Republicans say Democrat Hood gives lucrative cases to political allies. Hood says limiting his power is unconstitutional.

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