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Fishers renews $240K deal with Senate candidate's wife

March 28, 2018

An Indianapolis suburb has renewed a $20,000-per-month legal services contract with the wife of Republican Senate candidate Luke Messer.

The city of Fishers pays Jennifer Messer $240,000 a year for part-time legal work she does from her home in suburban Washington, D.C., where the family moved after Luke Messer's election to Congress in 2012.

Fishers' officials gave final approval Monday to her 2018 contract.

She previously worked as an attorney for Fishers through her former firm. But in 2015 she was awarded a contract to work on her own for the city.

The Associated Press previously reported that she makes more than many full-time government lawyers, including the city's staff attorneys.

Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said it's a good deal for the city because she charges less than many private attorneys.

According to time sheets reviewed The Associated Press, Messer averages a 26.5-hour work week doing legal consulting for Fishers, according to timesheets reviewed by The Associated Press.

Unlike many government contract attorneys who are paid by the hour or project, Jennifer Messer receives the same $20,000 monthly check from Fishers regardless of how much she works. She signed the contract in early 2015, Messer logged a full 40-hour week just once, working about 50 hours between March 28 and April 3, 2016.

The Associated Press previously reported on Messer's consulting arrangement with Fishers in early May, but more details about her pay have since emerged.

Legal experts say the part-time arrangement doesn't appear to break any rules. But it could create message problems for her candidate husband.

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