Monica Conyers too poor to afford her own lawyer [VIDEO]

Mike Riggs Contributor
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Monica Conyers, wife of Rep. John Conyers Jr., will be teamed with “a tax-funded public defender to help her appeal the three-year sentence she received last week for bribery conspiracy,” after a Detroit judge found she was “indigent”:

The former Detroit City Council president and wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Detroit, needs public assistance in her effort to overturn a deal she made to avoid trial on federal charges related to allegations of city contractor bribes.

The fact that her husband was paid more than $170,000 last year isn’t a consideration when calculating her ability to pay a lawyer. Federal law requires the determination of a defendant’s ability to hire a lawyer to be made without regard for the financial ability of the family.

“The information available to the judge established an inability to pay for an attorney by Mrs. Conyers,” said a statement issued today by the court’s media information officer, Rod Hansen. “This information included a detailed description of her financial resources in the presentence investigation report. And that Mrs. Conyers was on her own, so to speak, as to such resources. Further inquiry was not appropriate and would have intruded on private matters.”

However, the criteria outlined in the law also include consideration of the immediate willingness of a defendant’s family or spouse to retain counsel.

The congressman’s spokeswoman in Washington, Nichole Triplette, did not immediately answer why Conyers apparently hasn’t expressed willingness to fund his wife’s legal defense.

Via Gautham Nagesh

UPDATE: Gregg Re sends along video of “Monica Conyers’ finest moment”