Over the next couple of minutes, Hunt gave him chapter and verse on Mickey's idea of contacting many of the city's nonprofit organizations and soliciting them for inclusion in the reward fund. Turner nodded in agreement throughout, at the end volunteering to help with the solicitations-he knew all these people-in any way he could. In fact, what made the most sense, he told Hunt, was that there be a central command; that Turner himself could act as the escrow holder of the funds, after which he would administer the reward and, in consultation with law enforcement, decide on the reward recipients, if any.
He would be the liaison between Hunt and the various organizations in Hunt's efforts to keep the contributors informed. He would also be happy to consult with Hunt when there was a question of whether or not information should come out. "And finally," he rolled along, "I think we have to talk about your compensation for all of your efforts on this."
"I was thinking of me and my two a.s.sociates billing at our regular hourly rate. I can get you our fee schedule first thing next week."
"That sounds fair."
"Great, but there is one other small thing. This whole concept really won't work unless we get a guarantee of a certain flexibility on the part of city government."
"How do you mean?"
"I mean, if the police or the district attorney decide to seize any- and everything we may get over the phone by search warrant as it comes in, then we're not going to get any calls."
Turner pondered that for a brief moment. "I could make a couple of calls and be of a.s.sistance in that respect. Meanwhile, I could have a contract drawn up in the next couple of days, but if you'd like to get started as soon as you can, we can be old-fas.h.i.+oned gentlemen and seal the deal with a handshake right now. How does that sound?"
Again, Hunt wasn't completely sure how it sounded, but what Turner was suggesting was certainly not unethical and it would put Hunt, Mickey, and Tamara to work at full pay immediately. And it wasn't unusual for a job to morph slightly or even greatly as its execution played out. He was sure he could stay on top of what were clearly Mr. Turner's priorities.
So, stifling his minimal scruples, he stood up and reached out his hand across the table. "That sounds like a deal to me," he said.
Wyatt Hunt hadn't been to Devin Juhle's home out on Taraval Street in a very long time. In the first years after Hunt had opened his office as a private investigator, he had nearly lived with Devin and Connie and their three children-Eric, Brendan, and Alexa. He and Juhle had been baseball teammates in high school, and they had still played games together, often including the children, whenever he came over-Ping-Pong, basketball, foosball, catch.
That was before Cali
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