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 article notes that according to federal guidelines, a family member’s wealth cannot be considered when determining a defendant’s ability to pay, “unless the family indicates willingness and financial ability to retain counsel promptly.”
Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Rep-Conyers-wont-help-his-wife-pay-for-a-lawyer-88152417.html#ixzz0iU46EVSS