Gov. Rod Blagojevich had proposed mortgaging the state office building as a way to pump almost $217 million into the state budget, but Illinois' attorney general in June put an end to the deal, saying it was unconstitutional.
Blagojevich told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board that the $532,000 price tag on the aborted deal was justified. He says the expenses were incurred while trying to save the state millions of dollars.
About $270,000 went to the law firm of Freeborn and Peters. State officials say that firm had to be paid because it provided services, despite the fact that the deal ultimately fell through.