ATLANTA (WAOK)- A federal judge granted Georgia State Representative Tyrone Brooks additional legal help to fight his fraud indictment. Brooks is already receiving pro bono legal advice from former governor Roy Barnes.
Although Barnes is a well known lawyer he mainly handles civil cases and has not handled a federal case in over a decade. In a motion requesting help, Barnes argued that Brooks cannot afford to pay for a lawyer but is still entitled to federal assistance.
However, the U.S. Attorney’s office argues that Barnes is more than capable of defending Brooks. U.S Magistrate Alan Baverman said that Brooks’ financial affidavit shows that he is living on his $17,000 annual legislative salary and has no extra means to hire legal counsel.
Baverman drew the line at a financial request to help hire experts, saying that it would bolster Brooks’ defense.
Representative Brooks could find out by the end of the month if he’ll be suspended from office. The Atlanta Democrat is accused of stealing nearly one-million dollars from two charities. The attorney general’s office announced a commission will meet June 28th to review the charges against him. The panel has the power to suspend him, but not remove him from office.