Scott review of BP claims czar mixedby Dara Kam | April 20th, 2011
Eight months after BP claims czar Ken Feinberg took over the $20 billion victim claim fund, reviews are mixed as to how the brash Boston lawyer is handling the process.
Gov. Rick Scott, in Destin to pitch tourism in the region hammered by last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig blast that sparked the nation’s worst oil spill in history, said he met with Feinberg last week while in Washington.
“The positive is he’s opened up more claims offices here and more feet on the ground and more people here talking to them. The negative is there’s a lot of people that still haven’t been paid,” Scott said standing outside the Lucky Snapper restaurant in Destin.
Feinberg, who’s paid out $3.8 billion to businesses and individuals in the Gulf States since taking over the Gulf Coast Claims Facility in August. That includes $1.5 billion to Florida victims.
Feinberg’s processed about 70 percent of the more than 500,000 claims filed. But many of those claims have yet to be paid.
Scott said he and Attorney General Pam Bondi set March 31 goals for Feinberg’s processing of Florida claims.
But nearly a month later, Scott couldn’t say whether Feinberg met his benchmarks.
“He’s given us how he thinks he’s doing,” Scott said .
Scott said he and Bondi’s staff are reviewing Feinberg’s results “to see what improvements he needs to make to make sure that we get everyone paid.”
Scott said he believes Feinberg is open to suggestions.
“He doesn’t want pressure from either attorney general or me. So what we’ve got to do is keep telling him what our needs are and just make sure he does the right thing,” Scott said.
The governor refrained from giving Feinberg a grade yet but promised “I’ll be telling him exactly how I think he’s doing.”