TRENTON - The legal bills for several state officials involved in the George Washington Bridge scandal will be paid for by taxpayers.

The state Attorney General’s Office disclosed that at least five law firms have been retained at a rate of $340 an hour, according to a report.

The attorney general did not say who is getting public funds for their private attorneys, or how many people are billing the state for their legal fees, citing confidentiality rules.

Lee Moore, a spokesman for acting Attorney General John Hoffman, told that under state law and judicial precedent, state employees are entitled to taxpayer-funded lawyers when the matter relates to their job.

Gov. Chris Christie's office has hired the Gibson Dunn & Crutcher law firm at $650 an hour and that bill will also be paid for by the state.

Steve Hughes