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Misconduct in BP case? New report alleges corruption.

A lawyer working for the team reviewing claims from the multibillion-dollar settlement over BP's Gulf oil spill has been accused of receiving payments from a law firm representing a claimant.

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Tar balls lie mixed with shells on the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., last week. After three years and $14 billion worth of work following the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the petroleum giant and the Coast Guard say it's time to end extraordinary cleanup operations in Alabama, Florida and Mississippi.

Dave Martin/AP

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A lawyer working for the court-appointed administrator to review claims as part of the multibillion-dollar settlement over BP's Gulf oil spill has been accused of receiving payments from a law firm representing a claimant, allegations that were discussed in a closed-door meeting Thursday with a federal judge overseeing the case, a BP official with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

The BP official, who has reviewed a report outlining the allegations, said claims administrator Patrick Juneau delivered a copy of the report to U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier during a meeting in his chambers. Lawyers for BP and the team of private attorneys who brokered the settlement also attended the meeting. The BP official spoke on condition of anonymity because the report hasn't been made public.

The company official who spoke with the AP did not disclose the name of the individual accused of misconduct but described the person's position and role in the administrator's office.

The report indicates that Juneau's security head also notified the FBI's New Orleans division about the lawyer's alleged conduct.

An FBI spokeswoman in New Orleans declined to comment Thursday.

The BP official said Juneau told the judge that he has suspended the attorney and is weighing further disciplinary action. Neither Juneau nor his spokesman responded to calls and emails on Thursday night.

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