- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf Efrain Gonzalez Makes a Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea; Blames Bad Legal Advice | Bronx News Networkbronx

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Efrain Gonzalez Makes a Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea; Blames Bad Legal Advice

Former state Senator Efrain Gonzalez Jr. has made a motion to withdraw a guilty plea to 2006 corruption charges.

In 2006, Gonzalez was charged with abusing member item funds for personal gain. He pleaded guilty to four federal fraud charges last May, according to documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Village Voice reported in January that Gonzalez considered withdrawing his guilty plea, with his defense claiming it was “involuntary” and that his previous lawyer, Bronx attorney Murray Richman, gave him bad legal advice.

“He has to say what he has to say,” Richman responded in a phone interview. “I carry no grudges. He’s my pal, and I’m sorry that he feels he was forced to take the plea, which is absurd.” 

Gonzalez parted ways with Richman several months ago and is now being represented by court-appointed attorney Lance Croffoot-Suede.

In 2006, Gonzalez was indicted for funneling state money alloted for community projects—dubbed member items—for his own personal use through several non-profits. He lost his Senate seat in 2008 election to current Senator Pedro Espada, who is now being investigated by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for his own member item issues. 

A conference scheduled for March 19 will determine the next steps of the case, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


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