Reed tapping campaign funds to pay counsel

  // Thursday, 14 August 2014 10:33 //

Walter Reed, the embattled district attorney for St. Tammany and Washington parishes, is tapping his sizable campaign war chest to pay for legal representation as a federal grand jury probe into his office heats up.

State ethics laws bar politicians from spending campaign money on personal uses. But lawyer Rick Simmons said the $12,278 that Reed has paid him so far is strictly for issues related to his campaign fund.

Simmons, of the New Orleans law firm Hailey McNamara Hall, said he is also representing Reed on issues related to ethics, but campaign money is not being used for that work.

Morgan Stewart, a public-relations consultant recently hired by Reed, said there is nothing unusual about a campaign committee retaining an attorney’s services.

“Campaigns nationwide, be they for the City Council or president of the United States, use attorneys for many concerns, specifically campaign financing and other campaign regulatory issues. Attorneys are called upon to give legal advice and render services regarding a number of situations,” Stewart said in an email.

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