Lawyers representing beleaguered Congressman Chaka Fattah in a racketeering indictment have asked a judge to remove them from the case, saying they have not been paid, according to CBS Philadelphia.
Longtime Philadelphia Democratic Rep. Fattah and four others were indicted last year on charges that included participating in a racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, and money laundering.
They also asked U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III that their request, made Wednesday, be handled confidentially because of “sensitive” communications that “should be protected from public scrutiny.”
Bartle disagreed, making them public Thursday, the same day that nine leaders of the city Democratic Committee, including U.S. Rep. Robert Brady, State Sen. Anthony H. Williams, and City Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, endorsed the 11-term Democratic congressman’s bid for reelection.
Fattah praised the four lawyers’ work, but said that their practices were too small to wait for payment and that he could not “keep up with the pace” after spending more than $300,000 on legal fees overall, including more than $100,000 on the four lawyers.
Fattah, who says he is innocent, is scheduled to go to trial on May 2, a week after the primary, the report says.