critical of Glick trip to Vegas
A four-day, three night stay in Las Vegasfor which
nearly $1,100 of expenses were covered using county fundshas
Platte County Prosecutor Tammy Glick coming under fire
from her opponent this week.
Glick flew to Las Vegas last Wednesday and returned on
Saturday. She said the purpose of her trip was to attend
a conference of the Association of Government Attorneys
in Capital Litigation.
According to information provided by the association,
the conference is designed for "government attorneys
involved in prosecuting capital (death penalty) cases."
Eric Zahnd, who will be Glick's opponent in the November
election, said he feels Glick's trip using county money
was inappropriate given that "Platte County currently
has no death penalty cases, and has had no such case go
to trial since at least 1994."
Glick, in a telephone interview this week, defended her
trip by saying the county currently has five murder cases
"We have five pending homicide cases, and any one
of those could be capital (death penalty) litigation,"
Platte County has murder cases going against Jimmy Williams,
Brenda Williams and their daughter Chrysta Mize in the
shooting death of Thad Mize, the ex-husband of Chrysta;
against Cornell Williams, who allegedly killed a man over
a set of wheels; and James Detmer, who is accused of killing
his father with a claw hammer in his father's garage.
"Potentially, any of those five could go to capital
murder status," Glick said.
Is it likely any of them will?
"I'm not making any comment on that at this time,"
Zahnd said he believes that if Glick had any intention
of moving any of those cases to capital murder status,
she would have already done so.
Glick said it's possible the determination to go to death
penalty status could be done closer to trial.
"You take a look at pre-meditation and other (factors),"
As for the use of county funds, payment requisition forms
from Platte County show county funds covered the cost
of Glick's air fare, which was $385 for her non-stop flight.
County money also covered Glick's hotel stay, which totaled
$294.30 for three nights; and the registration fee for
the conference, which was $400.
Glick said she would not be submitting requests for per
Glick's husband accompanied her on the trip but none
of his expenses were paid for by the county.
Zahnd called on Glick to pay back the county money she
"This is not a personal attack on Ms. Glick. She
can fly to Las Vegas to spend four days at Caesar's Palace
with her husband anytime she wants. But I believe it is
wrong for her to have Platte County pick up the tab. She
should return the money for this trip," he said.
Glick said she won't be returning the money.
"No, it was business," she said. "It was
not a junket to Las Vegas, it was a training session.
It's the best training I've had with regard to homicide
Glick pointed out that three assistants from the U.S.
Attorney's Office, the Clay County Prosecutor, an assistant
from Clay County, and two assistants from Wyandotte County
also attended the same conference.
Zahnd claims similar prosecutor training seminars are
available through the National District Attorneys Association
in South Carolina for free. He also says Missouri regularly
has a "death penalty school" to provide training
to lawyers interested in death penalty cases.
"It doesn't make sense to spend county money for
a four-day spree in Las Vegas when similar training is
available in Missouri or in South Carolina for free,"
Zahnd said Glick's trip was surprising given her earlier
pledge to save the county money. When Glick was criticized
for seeking a special prosecutor to handle a murder case
in the county, she said the decision was made in part
to help save Platte County money in the long run.
"This junket to Las Vegas certainly did not save
Platte County money," he remarked.
Glick emphasized she feels the trip was beneficial.
"The training was very worthwhile and I see it as
a very effective use of the prosecuting attorney's training
fund," she stated.
She said the training fund receives money from court
costs paid by defendants.