ME: Peterson’s attorney owes me money
April 30, 2010
By JOE HOSEY firstname.lastname@example.org
JOLIET – A medical examiner is accusing Drew Peterson defense attorney Joel Brodsky of shafting him on his fee.
Dr. Brian L. Peterson, the medical examiner for Milwaukee County, Wis., said Brodsky is holding out on paying him for reviewing the autopsy of Drew Peterson’s slain third wife.
“For the first time in my forensic pathology career, now over 21 years, I have been stiffed for the fee ‹ a whole $4,000, by the way,” Dr. Peterson wrote in an e-mail.
Dr. Peterson said he was approached by the “Brodsky team” to review the death of Drew Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio. Drew Peterson is charged with murdering Savio in March 2004 and making her death appear to be an accidental bathtub drowning.
An autopsy that determined Savio did drown was conducted soon after the death. A coroner’s jury later ruled Savio was the victim of an accident.
Three and a half years later, in the wake of the vanishing of Drew Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, Savio’s body was exhumed and two more autopsies were performed. One was conducted at the behest of State’s Attorney James Glasgow and the other after her family asked celebrity medical examiner Michael Baden to step in. Both of these autopsies determined Savio was the victim of a homicide.
During a pivotal hearing held earlier this year to determine what hearsay evidence will be allowed at Peterson’s murder trial, defense attorneys presented testimony from a forensic pathologist of their own, Jeffrey Jentzen of Michigan, who insisted Savio may have accidentally died in her bathtub.
Dr. Peterson said Jentzen recommended him to Peterson’s attorneys.
“They wanted an independent review of the Savio case,” Dr. Peterson wrote in an e-mail. “Joel (Brodsky) even, for the first time in my career, asked that I sign a confidentiality agreement regarding my work. I did. And being an honorable guy, I will not tell you what my opinions were – note, however, that I was not called to testify recently.”
Dr. Peterson went on to elaborate on his findings, saying, “What I can tell you, which doesn’t violate confidentiality, is I disagree with Jeff (Jentzen).”
Dr. Peterson said the attorneys told him not to write a report and to simply submit his bill. He said he followed these instructions in December but is still waiting to get paid.
Brodsky blamed the lack of payment on his former colleague, attorney Andrew Abood of East Lansing, Mich., who left Drew’s crew earlier this month.
“Abood went to consult with Dr. Peterson all by himself, without first consulting me or the client,” said Brodsky, who answered questions via e-mail and provided an invoice billing Abood for the service.
“The bill is Mr. Abood’s responsibility, not mine, and that is why he is paying it,” Brodsky said.
Abood said he is picking up Dr. Peterson’s tab, but only so the consultant does not lose out on his fee.
“Andrew seems to be a good guy and has now agreed to pay me independently, out of his own funds,” Dr. Peterson said.
Brodsky did say that, as Drew Peterson’s lead attorney, he must “manage the budget and logistics of a large and complex case.”