Invoices recently released by the state for work performed in connection with the Bridgegate scandal document more than just the mounting legal bills accumulated by New York firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The latest invoices for services performed on behalf of Gov. Chris Christie’s office document $2.28 million worth of charges by a different sort of firm: Stroz Friedberg, which handles forensics and other data-related tasks.
The monthly invoices were made public by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.
The billing dates range from Jan. 31, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015; the amounts from $6,084 to $369,546.
All but $10,871 of the charges were approved, according to the documents—meaning the state paid 99.5 percent of what Stroz Friedberg billed.
Hourly rates generally ranged from $170 to $250 for the work, which was performed by roughly 40 professionals, the documents indicate. Also included were various expenses such as data hosting, travel and meals.
The invoices themselves are unclear on the specific nature of the tasks, as most entries are labeled simply, “work performed by” one professional or another.
An Attorney General’s Office statement, however, helped explain, calling Stroz Friedberg “a prominent digital forensics and electronic discovery firm founded by a former FBI agent and a former federal prosecutor.
“As is typical in any large-scale investigative matter, the Governor’s Office had to engage an expert electronic discovery firm because of the wide-ranging subpoenas it received from the Legislature and the United States Attorney’s Office and the many different systems and devices from which potentially responsive documents had to be gathered,” the statement said.
The firm, it added, “has been assisting in the gathering of potentially responsive documents, facilitating the review of potentially responsive documents by the Governor’s Office’s outside counsel, and assisting Gibson Dunn with production of responsive documents to the Legislature and the U.S. Attorney.”
Including its Manhattan headquarters, Stroz Friedberg has 12 offices in the U.S. and abroad, and has a roster of roughly 140 professionals, according to its website.
Stroz Friedberg’s $2.28 million in fees, when combined with legal bills racked up by Gibson Dunn, pushes the state’s taxpayer-funded obligation above the $10 million mark, according to reports by the Record of Bergen County and others, which noted that Christie’s reelection campaign also utilized Stroz Friedberg to respond to U.S. Attorney’s Office subpoenas in connection with Bridgegate and still owes the firm about $362,000 in fees.
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