BY JOHN SHIFFMAN INQUIRER STAFF WRITER In a surprising move, Richard A. Sprague and his firm asked today for permission to withdraw as lawyers for 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]