Via USA Today:
A scandal surrounding the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups might soon start hitting taxpayers in the wallet.
The Justice Department has hired two law firms here to represent the personal interests of 19 Internal Revenue Service workers in a federal lawsuit filed against the agency and its employees because of this year’s targeting scandal, The Cincinnati Enquirer has learned. The government has contracted with the firms of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP and Squire Sanders LLP for up to $200 an hour plus expenses.
The federal government often pays for personal representation of its employees, experts say.
“No one would be willing to take these jobs at places like the IRS if the government wasn’t willing to help protect them from legal suits like this,” said Donald Tobin, a law professor at Ohio State University and a former lawyer with the Justice Department. “While it doesn’t happen a lot that the government contracts with private counsel, in these kinds of cases, they almost have to.”
Justice Department officials confirmed the contracts with the two firms here, saying that it is common for those who face lawsuits “arising out of their employment.”