Griffin: Board of Corrections’ illegal lawyer “copying and pasting” from other law firms
2 min read

Griffin: Board of Corrections’ illegal lawyer “copying and pasting” from other law firms

Law & Order
Feb 16
2 min read

This article is Part 6 of an ongoing series called #ARCorrectionsCrisis, which focuses on the dysfunction of the Arkansas Board of Corrections. We intend to track their actions and educate the public about their conduct until they finally prioritize Arkansas crime victims and the safety of our communities above their own power.

We recently published an analysis of the Board of Corrections’ illegal lawyer’s invoice that he submitted to the taxpayers. For just 22 days, Abtin Mehdizadegan submitted a bill of nearly $52,000, at a rate of $285 per hour. (Not bad for government work.)

His latest bill surpasses $71,000.

But as it turns out, some of Mehdizadegan’s work appears to be, well, not his own.

According to a new filing from Attorney General Tim Griffin, submitted late yesterday, Mehdizadegan has been committing plagiarism–and you’re paying for it.

From Griffin:

“ ... the Defendants’ illegally retained counsel continue to run up the State’s bill, which totals $125,258 for January 2024 and three weeks in December 2023...This time next year at that rate, the Defendants’ illegally retained counsel will be rapidly approaching $1,000,000. That’s a good gig, especially when you can charge for copying and pasting other attorneys’ work.

Below are the sections in question. Judge for yourself.

From “Mehdizadegan’s” brief:

And here's the section from the law firm, Friday, Eldredge, and Clark, LLP that Mehdizadegan ripped from, submitted as Exhibit 2 by the AG's office:

While this may just be one example, according to Griffin, the extent of the plagiarism is at this point unknowable:

“How much money are they charging the State for this? Whatever it is, it’s too much. And if the undersigned had not happened to review the brief the Defendants’ illegally retained counsel copied and pasted from, their tactics may have flown under the radar. It is impossible to know how many other pages of the Defendants’ illegally retained counsel’s hundreds of pages of filings have been ripped from other people’s work and passed off as their own.”

And you’re paying for it, to the tune of $285 per hour.

This is not the first time the Board of Corrections has come under intense scrutiny for relying on supposed experts of questionable integrity: in December, Opportunity Arkansas broke the news that the Board's auditor was previously terminated from the department for fabricating documents, among other grievances.

Image of the story authorNicholas Horton
Founder & CEO

Nic Horton is a native Arkansan and Founder & CEO of Opportunity Arkansas. He has spent more than a decade in the conservative movement as an expert on election, disability, tax, welfare, and workforce reform.

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