President Obama said that the $20 billion from BP "will not be controlled by either BP or by the government. It will be put in an escrow account administered by an impartial, independent third party." Obama said he and BP's chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, agreed on having Kenneth Feinberg administer the fund. (Feinberg was also selected by Obama to oversee the compensation of top executives at bailed out banks.)
BP is currently paying Feinberg's six-lawyer Washington, D.C., firm, Feinberg Rozen, a flat fee of $1,250,000 a month for labor and overhead costs, but the full details of compensation are unknown. Feinberg has come under harsh criticism from public interest groups for refusing to disclose the amount of his compensation or the details of his arrangement with the company.
On December 6, 2010, the Center for Justice & Democracy (CJ&D) sent a letter to Robert Dudley, the CEO of BP, concerning "serious new issues raised about the lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest related to the administration of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility." In the letter, CJ&D pointed out actions taken by Feinberg in the administration of the compensation fund that point to serious conflicts of interest:
"Mr. Feinberg, employed by BP, has decided on his own authority that all claims recipients must release all companies who caused this disaster from any and all legal responsibility, no matter how grossly negligent they were. This sweeping release, which assigns victims’ claims to BP, benefits only one actor: BP – the company that happens to pay Mr. Feinberg’s salary.". In January 2011, Judge Barbier, the federal judge over the oil spill litigation, after hearing evidence and arguments of the attorneys, ruled that Kenneth Feinberg was not independent of BP and could no longer claim to be so. Feinberg had been telling victims he was their lawyer and did not answer to BP.
The letter also criticized Feinberg's lack of transparency around compensation:
"Despite repeated calls for the release of documents establishing the formal relationship between BP and Feinberg Rozen, as well as its subcontractors who are reviewing and adjudicating claims, almost nothing has been publicly released. And now we learn, as reported by Reuters on November 22, 2010, that BP and Feinberg Rozen consider their arrangement “verbal,” i.e., they have not committed to writing the firm’s compensation arrangement so there can be no public examination of it. Is the public to believe that there is no paper evidence at all documenting a $10 million per year financial arrangement between BP and Feinberg Rozen? What about the contracts between BP, Feinberg Rozen and the subcontractors who are advising and adjudicating claims and also being paid directly by BP? Surely these contracts must be in writing and released … This failure to release the terms of all these financial arrangements under circumstances of tremendous historic and public significance is simply unacceptable."
15 minutes ago · Like
Robert Blotnicky smoking gun ^^