State government offices spent at least $2.2 million in legal fees in 2009, according to the website IllinoisOpenGov.org.
And among a list of 1,371 legal fee payments made to various law firms last year, HeplerBroom of Edwardsville received at least $176,589 from the Illinois Department of Transportation, the site indicates.
But the site, developed by the Illinois Policy Institute, cautions that "none of the totals should be interpreted as representative of the total dollars spent by Illinois state government."
The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research organization that promotes economic liberty and government accountability.
IllinoisOpenGov.org promises viewers "an unbiased look at raw spending data, provided directly from official government sources."
According to its 2009 spreadsheet listing legal fees, payments were also made to various law firms by other departments such as Public Health, Children and Family Services, Veterans Affairs and Employment Security.
The site also provides general expenditure data for departments of Revenue, Aging, Human Resources, Financial and Professional Regulation and Military Affairs through information provided by the Illinois Comptroller.
Expenditure data for other departments, such as the Governor's office, is provided by their respective Freedom of Information Act officers.
Payroll and retiree pensions can also be searched on the site.
IllinoisOpenGov.org has a section on its site, "Spotlight on Spending," which lists various state expenditures, such as "Over $3,000 on Glue Sticks," "More Than $2 Million in Printing Costs," and "$1,384 for Flags."
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Illinois Department of Transportation
Illinois Policy Institute