Today the Associated Press broke the story that Rhode Island (RI) Attorney General Patrick Lynch received campaign contributions from the head negotiator of the DuPont settlement over lead paint. Those contributions were at least $1500.
Inititially DuPont was one of the defendants in the landmark RI lead pigment case, along with ARCO, Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries, and Millennium Companies.
Bernard Nash, an attorney representing DuPont, negotiated a deal with RI in June 2005 to drop the charges. In exchange, DuPont donated about $12.5 million to three charities.
Three of the four defendants - ARCO was acquitted - were convicted in a February verdict and required to pay abatement. They filed motions for dismissal or a new trial. If the verdict stays, those three could be made to pay up to four billion dollars in abatement costs. So, $12.5 million appears to be a very nice deal for DuPont.
In addition, Lynch also accepted a $250 donation from Olivia Morgan, who heads the Children's Health Forum, which stands to gain millions from the DuPont settlement.
Those representing Lynch's Republican opponent Bill Harsch in the November election, reports Associated Press, plan to file a complaint today with RI Ethics Commission. That complaint will claim alleged conflict of interest and influence peddling. Lynch is seeking a second term as Attorney General.