Rep. Conyers wife can't afford a Lawyer? Gets Public Defender

The National Law Journal reports that former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, wife of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., has been declared indigent by a federal judge. That means she gets a public defender in her attempt to appeal her three-year prison sentence on a bribery charge to which she pleaded guilty.

[Conyers] says she can’t afford a lawyer…despite the fact that her husband — who is the second-longest serving current member of the U.S. House of Representatives — makes $174,000 a year….The court said that Monica Conyers provided information that established her inability to pay for a lawyer, including “a detailed description of her financial resources in the presentence investigation report and [the information] that Mrs. Conyers was on her own — so to speak — as to such resources.” Therefore, the court said, “Further inquiry was not appropriate and would have intruded on private matters.”

The Beltway Belle puts it this way:

Monica Conyers is being declared “indigent” based on financial records which indicate that she can’t afford her own lawyer. John Conyers, whose congressional salary is approximately $174,000, has refused to pay for a private lawyer. According to federal guidelines, a family member’s wealth may not be taken into consideration when establishing a person’s ability to pay for legal counsel unless unless a willingness to do so is expressed.

Read the rest at  The Beltway Belle.

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