Monday, December 21, 2009

Utah U.S. Attorney Wastes $500,000 on Government Witness

Brett Tolman (pictured), the Rove-Bush-Cheney appointed U.S. Attorney of Utah, is under fire. It appears this soldier of the Rove Republican Racket freely spent a half-a-million dollars on a government witness.

The Salt Lake Tribune posted this story late last night:
In the recent court battle of experts trying to determine whether Elizabeth Smart's accused kidnapper is mentally competent, forensic psychiatrist Michael Welner was the highest paid warrior.  The New York-based expert, who testified for federal prosecutors, was paid approximately $500,000. Two defense psychologists who testified last week earned less than $50,000 between them for their work.

There were differences. Welner spent more than 1,000 hours of work reviewing records, interviewing witnesses, writing a report and testifying in court.  Much of the work of the two defense psychologists was done several years ago for an attempted prosecution in state court. Each was paid about $50,000 for their evaluations in that court, according to Mitchell's defense team. 

U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman said Welner's work could help move along a case that has stalled for years over the question of whether Mitchell can understand the charges against him and assist his attorneys in his defense.  "I think it was worth every penny," Tolman said Friday. "This case is unique because Mr. Mitchell would not submit to psychological testing. Any case deserves the most attention you can give to it, especially when it involves violent crimes."

Now, we would think that Tolman would have a cap of let's say $150,000 and arranged a volume discount based on hours worked. But being a government bureaucrat, he sold the family farm.