Double Dehydration

When the "huge, dropsical monster" known as the Associated Gas & Electric System was finally driven into reorganization proceedings in 1940, 40% of its billion-dollar bulk turned out to be bookkeeping water. Last week, as the fabulous reorganization was ended, more water was struck. Manhattan's Federal Judge Vincent L. Leibell angrily said that fees asked by 72 lawyers and assorted utilities experts for the five-year job of dehydrating the monster were themselves heavily watered.

The final bill totaled $2,500,000 (over & above $869,000 paid out earlier). Judge Leibell, who had appointed some of the lawyers, snorted: "Fantastic, grossly excessive." He...

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