California's crisis consultants fired

SACRAMENTO, CA: The "masters of disaster" Chris Lehane and Mark

Fabiani are no longer working for Governor Gray Davis following the

settlement of a suit filed by an activist taxpayers organization.

Neither consultant will be paid for the work they did to help Gov. Davis

with the state's energy crisis. They were hired at the end of May, and

their $30,000 monthly retainer was heavily criticized. The fee

was the subject of a suit by the National Tax Limitation Committee. The

state controller also threatened to block the payments.

The two had also worked for Southern California Edison, which was said

to be a conflict of interest.

"They are writing it off and not pursuing compensation," said Hilary

McLean, Gov. Davis' chief deputy press secretary. "As Chris said, it is

not worth the trouble."

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