Jailed political consultant, who pleaded guilty, wants taxpayers to fund his appeal

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A prominent figure in the Detroit city hall corruption scandal led by Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, has asked U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani to approve his request for a court appointed lawyer to appeal his guilty plea.

Pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges, now wants taxpayers to pay for a lawyer to appeal his conviction.

Political consultant and top aide to former Detroit councilwoman Monica Conyers, Sam Riddle pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion in July 2010, and was sentenced to 37 months in prison. Riddle has been in federal custody since May 2010, and in October, filed a notice to appeal.

Judge Battani rejected the pleading saying that Riddle failed to prove that he was unable to pay for the cost of a lawyer, because on the application, he simply wrote “indigent.” She said that once he properly files the forms, that the court could begin reviewing the application and make a decision.

Conyers, wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, also pleaded guilty to bribery and extortion charges and is also serving a 37 month prison sentence. Like Riddle, she too has decided to change her guilty plea, saying she was pressured by her own lawyer, prosecutors and the media.

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