Maricopa County Community College security breach: Board has questions on hiring of second law firm

Taxpayers may have to foot a bigger bill to cover legal expenses related to the Maricopa Community Colleges data security breach. MCCC just hired a second law firm.
 
That security breach happened last year, and nearly two and a half million people were told their personal information may have been exposed.
 
The District recently hired a second law firm, Greenberg Traurig, to help them deal with the breach and the  legal actions and lawsuits that have resulted from it.
 
They also voted to keep the existing law firm, Wilson Elser, until the end of the year. The district had agreed to pay Wilson Elser up to 2.7 million dollars.
 
The action happened after last month's Community Colleges board meeting.
 
At that time, Board member Debra Pearson expressed concern about Wilson Elser, which firm is based in New York.
 
"I feel the legal advice we have received in this case and the comments made to the board are inappropriate," Pearson said during that meeting.
 
Pearson was also a vocal proponent of hiring an Arizona law firm. 
 
The hiring of Greenberg Traurig was supposed to have been that compromise. It has offices all of the country, including one in Phoenix.
 
But if this new firm was supposed to be full of new attorneys and new ideas -- not so.
 
The ABC15 Investigators found two of the attorneys currently working with Greenberg Traurig recently quit working for Wilson Elser.
 
In fact, Lori Nugent was lead attorney on the case represented with Wilson Elser.
 
Board member Randoph Lumm was surprised to hear that.
 
"I think it's kind of unethical to leave a firm to take your biggest client with you and plant yourself to say you're a local law firm," Lumm told ABC15.
 
Lumm says Wilson Elser is a good firm for security issues. But he says he didn't like how involved they became in other aspects of the District's operations.
 
"I'm concerned the new law firm is going to do the same thing--overstep their bounds," Lumm said.
 
In a statement, the District's general counsel said it was important to keep Nugent and the other former Wilson Elser lawyer on the case because of their familiarity with the it.
 
And the District says they want Arizona-licensed attorneys to represent them in court.
 
The Board is meeting Tuesday night to talk about several issues related to the security breach.
 
E-mail me with any consumer issue you have or "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.
 
Print this article Back to Top

Comments
web fb twitter jd share Image Map