Bananas series costs taxpayers p.8

By: Allan Wolper A government probe of the Cincinnati Enquirer's failed series on Chiquita Brands has become a budget buster.
In August, special prosecutor Perry Ancona billed Hamilton County $109,000 for his investigation into fired Enquirer reporter Mike Gallagher. That's more than half of the budget for special investigations. Anticipating more expenses, county leaders recently allocated another $200,000 for his work.
Ancona, who came to the case because the elected prosecutor has received campaign contributions from Chiquita boss Carl Lindner, is investigating charges that Gallagher stole some of the 2,000 Chiquita voice mail messages he used in reporting his highly critical May 3 series on the famed banana company.
On June 28, the Gannett paper retracted the articles, booted Gallagher, and paid $10 million to Chiquita to settle any claims against it. Chiquita subsequently sued Gallagher.
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