Steve Neavling of The Bay City Times has a six-part series on Bay County government spending on private attorneys. "Between 2001 and 2004, the county paid private lawyers nearly $1.13 million — more than twice the amount spent by each of four other Michigan counties with similar populations. And that does not include the more than $470,000 Bay County spent on attorneys to defend lawsuits." The paper used county billing records to show that the staffer who oversees legal work "routinely turns to outside lawyers, who charge up to $140 an hour to handle lawsuits, bankruptcy cases, property transfers and union negotiations." With a graphic showing how much outside firms were paid.