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California IN BRIEF : BAKERSFIELD : Attorney Accused of Overbilling County

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A court-appointed defense attorney has repeatedly billed Kern County for more than 24 hours of work per day, a newspaper charged. The county auditor’s records showed that Robert Phillips of Bakersfield charged for more hours than there are in a day 14 times from 1988 through 1990, the Bakersfield Californian reported. He charged 41.3 hours one time and 31.4 hours another, said the article. Phillips, 65, who has received up to $210,000 a year from the county, denied ever overbilling the county deliberately. “This idea of 41 hours or 31 hours, I absolutely never deliberately billed that kind of time,” Phillips told the newspaper. “I would have to be an idiot to do that. I certainly deny any overbilling. I bill 17 or 18 hours a day, seven days a week, week after week after week. But I didn’t bill more than that.” Phillips filed claims for more than 15 hours a day 194 times from 1988 through 1990, according to the auditor’s records.


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