Prestige has a price. Former Greenberg Traurig partner Mark McCombs found a sucker to foot the bill for him. As we reported earlier this month, he was the village attorney to Calumet Park, Illinois. He was charged with bilking the village of over one million dollars — money he allegedly sought not for personal gain, but to impress his Chicago partners with his book of business.
Greenberg Traurig has reviewed his overbilling and discovered that it was actually in the multi-millions. The Southtown Star reports that the firm has reviewed McCombs’s billing of Calumet Park dating back to 2002, when he joined the firm, and will be returning $3.2 million to the village of Calumet Park. That takes a chunk out of Greenberg’s PPP this year.
Village records show McCombs billed the village for tens of thousands of dollars each month for work that apparently never was done. He helped himself to property tax revenue that flowed into accounts of Calumet Park’s five tax increment financing districts.
After the jump, Greenberg Traurig managing shareholder Paul Fox says there is an upside to all this, and we have an UPDATE from the firm…
The firm fired McCombs when his potentially felonious activity came to light. From the Star (via the ABA Journal):
“The only silver lining in any of this is for us is that money is going back to people who need it,” said Paul Fox, managing shareholder of Greenberg Traurig. “We’re helping a community and some school districts. We thought that the appropriate thing to do was return all the fees.”
Will Greenberg be helping out other communities this year? McCombs was the attorney to at least nine other villages, though a few precede his time at Greenberg. A firm spokesman previously told us that the firm is “reviewing all of Mr. McCombs’ billings and will make prompt reimbursements if we find that any overcharges occurred.”
UPDATE: A firm spokesman tells us, “Although we have not finalized our internal investigation, our initial review leads us to believe that this was limited to Calumet Park village, which was Mr. McCombs’s home town.”
Greenberg Traurig associates, if your bonuses bite this year, here’s one person you can blame.
Calumet Park gets back $3.2M in legal fees [Southtown Star]