Judge: Dimora himself will pay for court-appointed lawyer

5:24 PM, Jan 12, 2011   |    comments
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O'Malley, in a hearing Dec. 10, granted the request from his attorneys Richard Lillie and Gretchen Holderman to withdraw as attorneys for Dimora. She also gave Dimora until today to get a loan or refinancing on his home to pay Lillie.

Dimora told O'Malley that no bank of the eight he contacted would give him the money on his house -- which Dimora says is totally paid for -- as long as federal prosecutors have a lien on it.

When O'Malley heard Dimora couldn't get the money, she said she would appoint a federal public defender but that Dimora, not taxpayers, would have to pay for the public defender himself.

For the first time, Dimora avoided the media both entering and leaving court, using the underground tunnel from federal court to the parking garage.

"Why should I go out? I don't have anything to say. There's no justice, that's what I have to say," Dimora said inside the courthouse.

Dimora was indicted in September on 26 county corruption-related charges. After pleading not guilty to all 26 counts, Dimora said he would fight the charges.

"I believe the government is trying to force me to plead guilty and I won't do that," Dimora told O'Malley. "I do not believe I can represent myself. I'm not a fool, I'm not an idiot."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann Rowland denies Dimora's allegation.

O'Malley said she was trying to balance Dimora's constitutional right to representation with her decision.

"If I am technically paying for my legal counsel, at least give me some continuation, judge," Dimora said. He wanted Lillie as the court-appointed attorney. O'Malley said she wouldn't do that.

"Is this justice? Do I have to pay for justice? I've been a public servant for three decades...now you want me financially bankrupt?" Dimora said.

O'Malley also instructed Dimora to turn over $20,000 to federal court within 10 days to start paying pay his legal fees, followed by $2,500 a month starting in February.

WKYC-TV

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