Records released by the office of Florida attorney general Bill McCollum (pictured) show that he hired discredited "ex-gay" leader George Rekers as an expert witness in a gay adoption ban trial and paid him double what his contract asked despite warnings by his own attorneys and the state's child welfare agency.
Rekers resigned from the board of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality last month after the Miami New Times reported that he used the services of a male escort during a trip to Europe.
According to The Miami Herald, "The Rekers fee was almost a third of what the state has spent on the gay adoption ban lawsuit to date -- $383,000. Half the cost has gone to attorneys fees; the rest to general expenses, including $120,000 to Rekers.
"Meanwhile, records obtained by The Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times show that despite repeated objections from the Department of Children and Families, the attorney general agreed to advance Rekers $60,900 to get him to take the case and another $59,700 a year later as the case dragged on."
McCollum defended the decision to hire Rekers, although he said he would not use him again given what he knows now, the Herald reported.
The gay adoption ban was ruled unconstitutional, and the state is appealing.