Taxpayers Stuck With Legal Bill for State Officials Ignoring Gosnell

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2011   |   8:32PM   |   Philadelphia, PA

When the grand jury report came down that was used to charge abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell and his staff with murder charges and other counts related to the death of a woman and seven infanticide cases, state officials were accused of ignoring abuses.

Now, new documents a local television station uncovered show taxpayers were forced to pay for the legal bills of those state officials who ignored the abuses that could have closed the clinic and saved the lives and health of countless women and babies who were purposefully prematurely birthed for the purpose of killing them with medical scissors.

Fox 29 indicates Pennsylvania state records it obtained show taxpayers forked over $100,000 in legal bills for attorneys for the state officials the grand jury subpoenaed. The local prosecutors in the case grilled the state officials and they were entitled to legal representation, but chose to accept public attorneys paid for at public expense.

The total cost to taxpayers was over $116,000 for the attorneys picked by a Center City law firm that earned over $50,000 in fees connected with the representation of the state officials. The new information adds insult to injury in a case that has received national attention for the gruesome and horrendous practices at Gosnell’s abortion business.

Fortunato Perri Jr, a former prosecutor, spoke with Fox 29 about why the legal bills were allowed in the case.

“At that point the right to counsel does attach when someone is subpoenaed in front of a grand jury, typically an individual has a right to remain silent if they’re going to be asked questions that would tend to implicate them in some criminal activity or any other problems that they may have,” Perri said. “So you have a right to have counsel with you in the room in a state grand jury. Counsel does not participate in the proceeding other than if the individual, the client, has a question about the proceedings, they have the right to stop the proceedings at that point, step outside, have a conversation with counsel and then resume the proceedings.”

The television station reported that none of the state officials questioned in the case took their Fifth Amendment right to not face questioning. Although they were not charged, the grand jury said  “none of these people did what they should have done” because they did not properly inspect Gosnell’s abortion facility for years.

The abortion industry has been forced to suspend two abortion businesses that employed embattled abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell, who has been the subject of national controversy over his abortion business in Philadelphia.

Gosnell’s facility was the subject of a grand jury report for its horrifying conditions and Gosnell and several staffers have been arrested for killing a woman in a botched abortion and seven counts of murder related to the infanticide deaths of babies Gosnell would purposefully birth and kill with medical scissors.

Following revelations that Gosnell is associated with two other abortion centers in Louisiana and Delaware, the National Abortion Federation has made the decision to suspend the memberships of both. Atlantic Women’s Medical Services, the Delaware abortion business that employed Gosnell one day a week to do abortions, and the Delta Clinic abortion center of Baton Rouge, have both had their memberships suspended. Leroy Brinkley owns both abortion businesses. Atlantic operates abortion centers in Wilmington and Dover.

Delaware law does not require inspections of abortion centers but, late Thursday, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said his office will launch a “wide-ranging” investigation of Gosnell and probe his work at the Delaware abortion facility given the vast problems at his Pennsylvania abortion center.

Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder and several of his staff at the abortion center, including his wife and sister-in-law, have been charged as well in the case with assisting in botched abortions, practicing medicine without a license or covering up the actions of those who did. The counts include grisly infanticidesthat involved Gosnell snipping the spines with scissors of babies who had purposefully been prematurely born so they could be killed moments later.

Mongar died November 20, 2009, after overdosing on anesthetics prescribed by the doctor, Williams said. Mongar’s family filed a lawsuit against Gosnell’s abortion business seeking damages.

“We want justice, this doctor has to be out of that clinic or he should not be treating anybody,” Damber Ghalley told CNN. “And the things that happen to my sister, I don’t want to happen to anybody in the future.”

He told CNN “the clinic was so dirty, filthy with blood stains and a dirty floor, everywhere dirty, I cannot describe how dirty it was.”

Gosnell has been denied bail while the case against him moves forward. Women have spoken out about their treatment and one woman says she was drugged and tied up and forced to have an abortion.

Authorities searching the facility last year found bags and bottles holding aborted babies scattered around the building, jars containing babies’ severed feet lining a shelf, as well as filthy, unsanitary furniture and equipment.

The grand jury investigation also shows state officials did nothing when reports came in about problems at Gosnell’s abortion center, which has upset incoming pro-life Governor Tom Corbett.