Published: Nov 16, 2011 12:03 AM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to a law firm whose roster includes a one-time business associate of Gov. Rick Scott.
    
The state since August has paid nearly $400,000 to the firm of Alston and Bird to defend a new state law that requires public employees to contribute 3 percent of their pay to the state pension fund.
    
Thomas Scully is a senior counsel with the law firm's Washington office, but he is also a general partner with the New York investment firm of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe. That's the firm that recently purchased Scott's shares in a chain of urgent care clinics he started.
    
Scott, who says he has known Scully for 20 years, said on Tuesday that he did not know about the connection.

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