Main | Friday, May 07, 2010

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum Responds To Dr. George Rekers Scandal

I just got off the phone with Nadine Smith at Equality Florida who tells us that our campaign against Bill McCollum has finally forced him to acknowledge the Dr. George Rekers scandal. McCollum's press release:
As hired counsel for the Florida Department of Children and Families, our office is committed to providing our client with the best possible legal representation in this matter. Dr. Rekers, a professor emeritus from University of South Carolina and a neuropsychologist with a degree from UCLA, came to our attention by recommendation from another academic after an exhaustive search for potential expert witnesses who were willing to testify. Dr. Rekers had exceptional credentials and he had provided testimony in similar cases on two separate occasions, one of which was a Florida case in Federal Court. The contract was executed at the direction of the Department of Children and Families, and the ACLU did not object to his position as an expert at the hearing. He has completed his testimony and is no longer involved in this case.
Equality Florida has learned that amount of money paid by the state to Rekers is actually much higher than originally thought.
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."
Go to Equality Florida's petition demanding that McCollum apologize. Continue to rain down your outrage on McCollum's Facebook campaign page. Call out Bill McCollum for his LIE that this is the work of Florida's Department of Children and Families. And as Nadine Smith just said to me, "How can he think it's BETTER that people think this huge amount of money was ripped from the nearly destitute agency devoted to serving Florida's children?" We WILL hang the albatross known as Dr. George Rekers around Bill McCollum's turkey wattle.

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