Sanford Bishop paid $25k in legal fees in March

Updated at 7:45 a.m. Wednesday

Roll Call, the D.C. newspaper, has spotted an expenditure for $25,000 in legal fees on the quarterly campaign finance report filed by U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop of southwest Georgia.

The money was paid to the Atlanta branch of the law firm of Greenberg Traurig (identified on the Bishop disclosure as “Greenbery Traurig LLP”).

The Washington newspaper noted the following:

There is an ongoing state investigation of the Muscogee, Ga., County Marshal’s Office and its “Junior Marshal” program, which has received nearly $200,000 in federal funds in recent years via earmarks that Bishop sponsored. It is unclear whether Bishop’s recent legal expenditures are related.

According to a March 3 report in the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation opened the probe after Muscogee County Marshal Gregory Countryman informed state officials that Bishop’s stepdaughter, Aayesha Reese, and her husband, Stephen Reese, worked for the program.

An e-mail sent late Tuesday, from Bishop spokeswoman Jennie Gibson, all but confirmed a connection:

”The Roll Call article referred to a matter that is under investigation in the state of Georgia. As such, Congressman Bishop does not believe that it would be appropriate to comment on it at this time.”

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[...] Bishop was concerned enough about the situation that he used $25,000 in campaign funds for legal advice earlier this year, according to Federal Elections Commission [...]