April 27, 2006

Bill Harsch Wants to Know Where the Money from the DuPont Lead Paint "Understanding" Is

Carroll Andrew Morse

Relatively speaking, the DuPont Chemical Company got off lightly in the Rhode Island lead paint case. DuPont agreed to donate $12,500,000 to charity, while the other defendants could end up liable for damages totaling in the billions.

However, according to Attorney General candidate Bill Harsch, DuPont has yet to pay anything at all. This is from a Harsch campaign press release...

After being pressed by Attorney General Candidate Bill Harsch last week, [Current Attorney General] Patrick Lynch revealed that despite reaching an "understanding" with Dupont Chemical Co., Rhode Island has yet to receive any monetary compensation from the deal.

"It has been almost a full year since the so called 'understanding' was announced that got DuPont off the hook in the lead paint trial and yet they still have not paid a single penny towards satisfying their end of the deal" stated Harsch.
Part of the problem appears to be that "one of the law firms who represented the state's interests" has taken a direct financial interest in the money that DuPont agreed to pay to charity...
"This brings up serious questions and concerns surrounding the deal that DuPont struck. I recently called for the Attorney General to fully disclose all of the terms and conditions associated with the DuPont deal. He neglected to provide any details on the terms of the settlement and only said that none of the $12 million had been received due to there being a lien placed on the settlement by one of the law firms who represented the state's interests during those negotiations....

Harsch said that his campaign plans to file a Public Records Request to determine the specifics of the original contingency-fee agreement and the settlement with DuPont.
A lien has been placed despite the fact that, according to Peter B. Lord in the Projo, the primary law firm hired by the state to handle the lead paint case waived "any claim of the settlement reached by Lynch with DuPont".

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Aside from the sloppy legal work, Lynch did a HUGE favor to Dupont with this settlement.

I mean, a $12 million charitable contribution while Sherwin Williams is looking at the possibility of nearly a BILLION dollar payout?

Something stinks with this settlement, and with this case. Maybe it's the campaign contributions to Lynch's pockets that CAM pointed out in his earlier post that came in from Dupont's legal team.

But maybe I'm just being cynical.

Posted by: johnb at April 27, 2006 4:47 PM

Harsch is the best unviable candidate out there. He'd do a better job than Lynch as AG, but can't seem to find a way to compete with Lynch on the campaign trail.

Posted by: Anthony at April 27, 2006 9:21 PM

Harsch did receive the most votes ever for an Independent and was the 2nd highest non-democratic vote getter in the 02 election.

He's viable. Just not too visible yet.

Posted by: susand at April 27, 2006 11:18 PM