Judge keeps lawyers on congressman's case despite unpaid tab

AP News
Posted: Jan 27, 2016 3:15 PM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge has ordered lawyers for indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah to stay on the case through his May trial even though the Philadelphia congressman hasn't paid them for months.

In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III says he fears a trial delay if the lawyers step down.

He notes that Fattah has made it a priority to raise money for his re-election rather than worry about his legal bills. He warned the 11-term Democrat to rethink that strategy.

The 59-year-old Fattah faces years in prison if convicted of bribery, money laundering and other charges. He says he will be exonerated.

Fattah says he's paid the lawyers more than $100,000 since his summertime arrest.

Defense lawyer Kevin Mincey says the team will do its job and hopes to be paid.