CURIOUS: Fumo’s Super-Lawyer Recuses Himself

BY JOHN SHIFFMAN INQUIRER STAFF WRITER In a surprising move, Richard A. Sprague and his firm asked today for permission to withdraw as lawyers forfumo_final.jpg indicted state Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D., Phila.).

The request comes just three weeks after U.S. District Judge William Yohn ruled that Sprague and his firm, Sprague & Sprague, could represent Fumo, despite conflicts of interests alleged by prosecutors, as long as Fumo waived and acknowledged any such conflicts in court. Yohn had set such a hearing for later this month.

Instead, Sprague and colleagues Mark Sheppard and Geoffrey Johnson filed a motion this morning, seeking to withdraw.

“There exists good cause for seeking to withdraw,” the motion said.

The motion did not state a reason, though lawyers who withdraw from cases routinely do not state a public reason, citing lawyer-client confidentiality.

Sheppard declined to comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Zauzmer said: “We approve. We filed a motion for disqualification based on conflicts of interest.”

Fumo faces 139 federal charges of fraud and obstruction of justice. [via the INQUIRER]

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