Tax 'wasted' in hunt for web snitch; SCANDAL.
HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been "wasted" in legal fees by a council trying to unmask a website's secret author.
Civic chiefs are furious over what they call libellous allegations made by a blogger called Mr Monkey.
Leaked memos reveal they even hired lawyers in the US to take the case to court in California. They want the firm hosting the site to name Mr Monkey, who wrote about "stories behind the spin".
But South Tyneside opposition councillors claim the investigation, which has lasted more than a year, is a waste of money when the council is facing pounds 32million cuts and 1,200 job losses.
Independent councillor Jane Branley said: "This is a ridiculous investigation."
A TaxPayers' Alliance spokesman said: "It would be disgraceful if it transpired a small group spent huge sums to protect their egos."
South Tyneside Council refused to comment.
SPIN TOWN Tyneside