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Troubled watchdog Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN) has raised $20,000 from 1,000 contributors, its board learned today at the February meeting. Some expressed surprise that with the U.S. Attorney investigating UCAN, and civil suits cropping up, a certain number of people are still staying loyal.

The board also discussed fees of lawyers and accountants. Paul Dostart, who purportedly looked into the offenses of former executive director Michael Shames, has already been paid $269,000. He has billed another $33,000. He is willing to drop the $33,000 if he gets a release that UCAN will not challenge him for his billings. UCAN's board decided not to grant this relief. Also, accountant Anthony Imbimbo, had been hired to figure what Privacy Rights Clearinghouse should get from its split-up with UCAN. Imbimbo didn't get paid and went to small claims court, where he lost.

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