State takes lawyer's records -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State takes lawyer's records

Ramon Fajardo Ramon Fajardo

May 8, 2008

Lee County --  The GBI raided a Leesburg lawyer's office Thursday afternoon, looking for evidence that he over billed the state for indigent defense.

More than two dozen files were taken from Ramon Fajardo's home and office. Dougherty District Attorney Ken Hodges says they are looking to see if Fajardo overcharged the state for defending poor clients.

Hodges is handling the case, even though it's outside his jurisdiction, because Fajardo, at one time, planned to run against the DA for that area. Hodges says the files seized today will be sent to Atlanta.

"There were not allegations that there was fraud in each and every one of them," said Hodges. "But there were allegations in at least a half dozen cases that I remember in reviewing the search warrant."

Three months ago, Fajardo complained to WALB News 10 that the state owed him $20,000 in back pay for indigent cases. Because he wasn't being paid, Fajardo withdrew from 67 other cases.

His lawyer says they're looking into whether those comments may have prompted this investigation.

Pete Donaldson also says investigators agreed not to look at Fajardo's files until an agreement can be reached to protect attorney client information.


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