Nadine Smith

Florida Taxpayers Paid Reker's $120,000, Twice What Was Initially Reported

Filed By Nadine Smith | May 07, 2010 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

Did Bill McCollum's office hide the truth about payments?

Attorney General Bill McCollum has scrambled to distance himself from the "star" witness he paid to defend Florida's anti-gay adoption ban after George Rekers was caught in the Miami Airport with a male prostitute.

But did McCollum mislead the public and reporters when asked about the huge sums the Attorney General's office directed to Rekers and his co-hort Walter Schumm?

First of all, it turns out the number is much, much larger than originally reported. An online search of Florida vendors shows Rekers was paid roughly $120,000 and his co-hort Walter Schumm recieved an additional $36,000 in taxpayer money.

McCollum's office also tried to downplay their relationship with Rekers, insisting that DCF paid him, ignoring the fact that the Attorney General's office prosecuted the case, defined the strategy and selected its witnesses. But was McCollum's attempt to shift focus to DCF more than a political sleight of hand? Was it simply a lie?

The same records that show that Rekers was paid double what was originally reported, also show the agency responsible for the funds as "Office of Attorney General - Finance & Accounting."

Check out the payments to Florida vendors. Here are screen shots from searches of Rekers:



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Kathy Padilla | May 7, 2010 4:10 PM

I think we need to see the full invoices. There could be some travel expense reimbursment for baggage handling.

But more seriously - how many hours did he put in to bill $120,000? Was this a sole source or competitively bid contract? I think an FOIA request for the RFP submission, committees review materials and or sole source justification would be quite interesting. What metric was the rfp committee given to rank respondents?

There could be some Easter Eggs hidden in there.

Tom Brown | May 8, 2010 7:15 AM

Thanks for the additional facts about the Rekers testimony. The larger question is why McCollum, as an independently elected official, is defending this unjust law in the first place. Seems to me he could have said, "I agree with the lower court that the adoption ban is unconstitutional," and washed his hands of it. The Legislature could have hired outside counsel to handle the appeal, if they were so eager to show themselves as anti-gay.

I love it that y'all are really beating this drum, Nadine. Let's see if he asks for a refund.

Even if Rekers did provide actual expert testimony, how could it be worth $120K? Unbelievable.

CatherineCC | May 9, 2010 3:19 PM

Because it's not about payment for a service - It's about "How can I donate to the anti gay movement with all these public funds?"

And about political grandstanding.