Ferguson is paying an attorney more than $1,300 an hour to help the St. Louis suburb negotiate and possibly litigate reforms demanded by the Justice Department since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown last summer.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1I843k3 ) reports that the Ferguson City Council decided behind closed doors in March to hire Dan K. Webb of suburban Chicago at an hourly rate nearly double Missouri's highest attorney billing rate last year.

Webb's tab doesn't include the expenses and fees of any lawyers or paralegals in his firm who may work on the case.

Webb is a 69-year-old former federal prosecutor whose clients in private practice included Philip Morris, Microsoft and the New York Stock Exchange.

A Ferguson spokesman isn't publicly discussing Webb's hiring or his fees.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com