State Public Defender cancels 5 attorney contracts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The State Public Defender’s office has canceled the contracts of five attorneys working as public defenders after their billing practices were questioned.

In one case, state auditors say a Spencer attorney overbilled the state more than $177,000 claiming he worked more than 24 hours in a single day for 80 days in a 3½-year period.

Ney McDaniel isn’t commenting and is referring calls to his attorney, who didn’t immediately return messages.

The audit report released Thursday shows McDaniel had been paid $1.1 million from 2005 through March of 2011 when his contract was terminated. He mostly represented clients charged with crimes who couldn’t afford an attorney.

The Iowa Attorney General’s office is considering criminal charges.

Other attorneys who contracts were canceled are in Oelwein, Des Moines, and Marengo.

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