It's been all downhill for former Bush administration lawyer John Michael Farren since he was arrested in 2010 on allegations that he attempted to kill his wife during a domestic dispute.
Farren, who worked in both Bush administrations and had been unemployed since leaving his post as deputy general counsel to George W. Bush, lived with his wife in New Canaan until the incident.
Since his arrest, his ex-wife, Mary Margaret Farren, a former associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington D.C. is suing him for $30 million civilly because her injuries have left her unable to work and a judge has frozen all of his assets.
Since he's broke, his high profile attorneys are concerned they won't get paid. So they've twice asked the judge to remove them as counsel, a move both the criminal and civil judges presiding over the cases have continued to deny.
"He has no money and has had no money since the date of his arrest," said Timothy C. Moynahan, of the Moynahan Law Firm in Waterbury. The lawyers are filing a pre-trial motion explaining why they believe Farren has insufficient assets to pay them and seeking an explanation as to why the request has been denied.
"It's a matter of judicial discretion. We respect the judge's decision. We don't agree with it but we respect it," said Eugene Riccio, of Gulash & Riccio in Bridgeport, who represents Farren in the criminal case with Moynahan before Judge Gary White. "[White] just didn't feel there was a sufficient reason to permit us to withdraw."
Stamford State's Attorney David I. Cohen, however, has claimed that there are sufficient funds to pay the attorneys; the move is simply "another delay tactic," Cohen reportedly said in court. Cohen was away late last week and unavailable for comment for this article.
Riccio said even though "all of Mr. Farren's assets have been tied up" there is a "limited amount of money for the purpose of retaining a mental health expert."
If there are not adequate funds available to cover the costs of the mental health evaluation, Riccio intends to request that the state cover the costs.
"[Farren] intends to rely upon the affirmative defense of mental disease or defect or extreme emotional disturbance at the time of the alleged crime," Riccio wrote in court documents recently.