Worst….Local Government….Ever!!! Part 3

Posted: August 10, 2009 in Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Good grief! The mayor of Birmingham, accused of accepting bribes in return for steering bond business to the bribing company during his time as Jefferson County commissioner, is attempting to have himself declared indigent so that the federal taxpayer will be on the hook for his lawyer bills.

http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/jarchibald.ssf?/base/news/124980571818350.xml&coll=2

Now even considering that “indigent” may not mean what we think it means as Archibald suggests, I still don’t quite understand this.  I would think that not only would one have to show insufficient funds to pay off a lawyer, but also insufficient assets that could be sold off to pay off a lawyer.  Certainly those assets wouldn’t include a man’s only home, but I would think it would include a second home.  Or a nice car.  Doing a little research, I learn that a person is considered “indigent” if hiring representation would cause “significant financial hardship” for the individual to provide “basic economic necessities” for that person and his/her dependents.  It is hard for me to believe that a person with multiple homes, a nice car, and $160,000 of annual income would be in that situation.

I also heard that Langford was also trying to do this while retaining his own counsel of choice.  I haven’t been able to verify that through a news source.  I know that’s not how it works though, if you are declared “indigent”, you get a court-appointed lawyer.  End of story.  So it would take a lot of audacity to think that you could get the taxpayer to pay your bills, yet retain the freedom to choose any representation you like, regardless of cost.  However, Langford is an audacious person.  So I guess it wouldn’t surprise me if he was trying.

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