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Gulf Spill Fund Pays for Czar's Ethics Advice

Kenneth Feinberg, the administrator of a program set up to compensate Gulf oil spill victims, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 30, 2010, before the House Small Business Committee hearing titled "Recovery in the Gulf: What the $20 Billion BP Claims Fund Means for Small Business". (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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NEW ORLEANS - The administrator of the $20 billion compensation fund for Gulf oil spill victims is using money from the fund to pay a legal ethics professor for a letter saying he's independent from BP.

Special Section: Disaster in the Gulf

A spokeswoman for the Gulf Coast Claims Facility told The Associated Press on Thursday that fund czar Ken Feinberg has agreed to pay New York University professor Stephen Gillers for a letter he produced stating that Feinberg is neutral and not subject to BP's direction or control.

Spokeswoman Debra DeShong Reed wouldn't say how much Gillers is being paid.

Feinberg has come under fire from some victims, lawyers and Gulf state officials who have questioned Feinberg's independence and suggested he is a pawn in a BP effort to limit its liability.