It appears that a case involving the hiring of an out of town private investigator on a death penalty case may have an impact on how the state pays court appointed investigators.
It all started when a Hillsboro lawyer hired Dave Panter, an ex-cop from Tillamook and an investigator from a nearby county to defend a murder case. However, the state Office of Public Defense Services refused to cover the investigator’s travel expenses from his office to Hillsboro.
The state offered to pay for Panter’s hotel and meals in Hillsboro, but it refused to pay him the standard state rate of $34 an hour for a capital case, plus 40.5 cents a mile for gas, to make the 60-mile drive between Tillamook and Hillsboro.
Since the state has refused, and a Washington County Circuit Court judge is set to decide the issue in a hearing Thursday, May 10.
“These guys haven’t had any raises since the 1970s,” says Barbara Baughman, a Portland private investigator who charges $75 an hour.
What do you think about the fees and expenses associated with court appointed investigator cases?