06/05/2010 06:13 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McCollum overruled staff warnings, concerns about Rekers

According to the Miami Herald, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum's staff tried to warn him against hiring the now disgraced George Rekers as an expert witness in the state's attempt to defend it's gay adoption ban.

And he overruled them:

Disgraced psychologist George Rekers was labeled a "right-wing, religious-based'' expert witness and rejected for months by state attorneys defending Florida's gay adoption ban.

But when they couldn't find anyone else to replace him on the witness stand, Attorney General Bill McCollum overruled his trial attorneys, quickly hired Rekers, and paid him twice his agreed upon contract with no questions asked, according to documents released this week by McCollum's office.

Rekers, a psychiatry professor at the University of South Carolina, has been stripped of his credibility after reports surfaced that he hired a gay male escort to give him nude ``sexual'' massages and accompany him on a recent European vacation.

The adoption ban case, in which the state paid Rekers more than $120,000 to testify on the "negative effects'' of gay parenting, has been ruled unconstitutional and the state is appealing.

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.

Records show attorney general hired George Rekers despite warnings continues here.

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