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Cost for defending Indiana lawmaker emails reaches $160,000

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The legal fight to shield Indiana lawmakers from having to release email correspondence with lobbying groups has cost taxpayers at least $160,000.

Legislative leaders defend that spending as necessary to protect communications with citizens. The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette reports  that tab will grow because it doesn’t include legal costs from the March 17 oral arguments before the Indiana Supreme Court.

The court is considering a lawsuit from the Citizens Action Coalition seeking emails between Republican Rep. Eric Koch (kuk) of Bedford and utility companies about his unsuccessful push to cut payments for excess electricity generated by home solar power systems.

House Speaker Brian Bosma hired the Indianapolis law firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister to defend the lawsuit rather than using the state attorney general’s office.