Poverty, Phoenician-Style

A resident of the exclusive community claims indigence, is awarded taxpayer-funded defender

(Stewart suffered a stroke after taking Legg as a client, and remains incapacitated.)

The AG's Office also interviewed Debus' co-counsel, Jerry Busby. Busby said he was paid about $40,000 by Legg after the sale of the Kentucky properties, though he prepared time sheets that reflect about $98,000 in billable hours.

"I told Busby that Legg claims he owes Busby about $200,000 in legal fees," the state investigator wrote in her July report. "Busby is unaware of where Legg may have gotten that figure."

In an interview with New Times, Debus says he's never totaled up what Legg may have owed him, nor has he billed him.

"Why would I want to?" Debus says, adding he's convinced Legg doesn't have the money available. "The guy probably doesn't have a pot to piss in."

Hardly, says prosecutor Stephens.
"Legg has several hundred thousand dollars' worth of assets which are no doubt available at his request," she alleged in court papers. "Those assets include his equity in his home at the Phoenician, the money he put in Maria Legg's name when the Kentucky properties sold and the money he put in his son's name when the Kentucky property sold. Legg is not indigent . . ."

Whoever represents Legg at his retrial faces another uphill struggle. One juror from the first trial says he remains convinced that Legg is a crook.

"Wayne made a good witness for himself," says the juror, a Phoenix man who requested anonymity. "He was humble and self-assured. His main attorney [Debus] was a really good fighter, and raised some good questions about how Wayne's law firm had behaved. But the firm wasn't on trial. All of us but one person was convinced Wayne was guilty, guilty, guilty.

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