Suspended Jacksonville City Councilwoman Katrina Brown’s attorney wants a judge’s permission to withdraw from defending Brown on federal fraud charges.
Attorney Darcy Galnor’s motion to withdraw doesn’t detail the reasons behind the request, which says “effective representation .. cannot be accomplished.” But it cites irreconcilable differences and a federal court rule barring withdrawal “absent compelling ethical considerations” if the move is likely to delay a case.
Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports the motion, filed Friday, was referred to U.S. Magistrate James Klindt, who didn’t immediately rule on it.
This month the City Council confirmed Galnor’s appointment to the Jacksonville Ethics Commission, which oversees the city’s handling of a range of ethics rules and training. It’s not clear whether that was a factor in Galnor’s request.
Galnor was court-appointed to represent Brown in June, after the first-term councilwoman showed Klindt that she couldn’t afford to pay for an attorney to defend her against 37 counts charging conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, attempted bank fraud and making false statements to a federally insured institution.
The charges revolve around a small-business loan and a city grant her family business received to build a barbecue sauce manufacturing plant in the city’s Westside.
Brown and suspended Councilman Reggie Brown, who is not related, were accused in a May indictment of creating fake invoices for work from two companies incorporated in Reggie Brown’s name, filing those to the bank making the small-business loan and pocketing payments from the lend.
Both members, who were quickly suspended by Gov. Rick Scott, have pleaded not guilty. They’re scheduled to go on trial in February.