Kenneth Feinberg to Strip Clubs: Don’t Count on Me

By Kate McCarthy

Jun 21, 2010 9:29am

That was the message from BP claim czar, Ken Feinberg, when I asked him what he thought about the “Mimosa Dancing Girls” strip club petitioning for relief from the BP’s $20 billion escrow fund.  The club says it lost business to the spill because Gulf fishermen can’t afford to come anymore.

“I’m dubious about that claim. I’m very dubious about that claim,” Feinberg said. “But I don’t want to prejudge any individual claim and I think we will study this and decide how attenuated claims can be that will be eligible or ineligible for compensation under this independent facility.”

Feinberg said the payments BP has paid out so far have had “relatively little corroboration.  And the problem is going to be…making sure that this $20 billion goes to pay legitimate substantiated claims and not fraudulent claims that we’ll have to be very, very careful about.”

Feinberg also acknowledged on “GMA” that the recent confusion over BP CEO Tony Hayward’s role overseeing the oil cleanup and his latest in a series of PR gaffes may make Feinberg’s job more difficult.

But this morning Feinberg said nevertheless in the “next couple of weeks” he will bring more transparency to the claims process and will distribute the money faster to the people in the Gulf “who are in desperate financial straits as a result of this spill.”

“I think when an individual comes in and asks for emergency assistance, that person should not still have to keep coming back for additional emergency assistance, we ought to give them a lump sum check that will tide them over until we can set up an emergency plan,” Feinberg told me.

Watch my interview here:

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