Scam suspect now wants public defender
September 9, 2007
ASPEN Alleged check scammer Peter Frommer, who faces 33-fraud related felonies, still wants a public defender.Frommer, who has not entered a plea to the charges, recently filed court papers asking a judge to assign him a public defender. The court brief comes after Frommer withdrew a request for a public defender because he did not want to testify about out his indigency, which the court requires.
The brief accuses Tina Fang, director of the public defender’s office, and District Judge James Boyd of giving Frommer bad legal advice. Frommer’s argument is that by claiming his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, he lost his Sixth Amendment right to representation. He argued that the indigency hearing – which Fang’s office requested – should be sealed and closed to the public.In the brief, Frommer wrote that his lawyer, public defender Garth McCarty, did not respond to him in a timely manner.
Frommer wrote that in addition to the felony charges in Pitkin County, he also is being investigated by the Los Angeles County District Attorney and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Los Angeles. Frommer allegedly bounced checks to various local businesses including a baby-sitter and a private school, all the while living a lavish lifestyle in Aspen, prosecutors allege. “All these matters are related to allegations of alleged financial impropriety,” Frommer wrote, “which financial information this public defender application process would compel me to disclose.”The matter of Frommer’s indigency and the question of whether Frommer will continue to be represented by McCarty remains in the hands of Judge Boyd, who is expected to rule by the date of Frommer’s arraignment, scheduled for Sept. 10.
“I am aware that Mr. Frommer is persisting in his application for a public defender,” Fang said. “It’s basically going to be up to the judge at this point whether or not he gets a public defender.”Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is email@example.com