The William Jefferson Chronicles

Mose Jefferson retains defense lawyer
by Gordon Russell, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday October 21, 2008, 7:38 AM
Defense attorney Michael Fawer in 2004

Political strategist Mose Jefferson told a federal magistrate judge Monday that he has retained veteran defense lawyer Michael Fawer of Covington to represent him in his upcoming trial on bribery charges.

Fawer has counted a number of politicians among his clients, among them former Gov. Edwin Edwards and U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, Mose Jefferson's brother, who is awaiting trial on 16 corruption charges. Fawer no longer represents William Jefferson, who will be tried in Virginia.

Mose Jefferson initially was represented by Ike Spears in each of the two pending cases against him that are set for trial in the next few months. The first case, scheduled for trial in March, concerns bribes that Mose Jefferson allegedly paid to former Orleans Parish School Board President Ellenese Brooks-Simms.

In the second case, set for trial in December, Mose Jefferson; his sister, 4th District Assessor Betty Jefferson; and her daughter, Angela Coleman, are charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from charities they controlled.

Spears was disqualified from both cases at the request of U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office. Prosecutors argued that Spears had a conflict because he had also represented Brenda Foster, Mose Jefferson's younger sister, who has pleaded guilty to a felony charge in the charity-fraud case. She will testify against Mose Jefferson in both cases, prosecutors have said.

In the charity-fraud case, Betty Jefferson is represented by Eddie Castaing, while Mose Jefferson has retained Arthur "Buddy" Lemann III.

Gordon Russell can be reached at or 504.652.0952.

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