Kepner seeks court OK to withdraw as Binsack's lawyer Attorney says legal bills are unpaid
An attorney for Scott J. Binsack says his client dropped him this week, and that "substantial" bills for legal services have gone unpaid.
Attorney Frank E. Kepner Jr., of Berwick, filed a motion Friday asking a federal judge to allow him to immediately withdraw as Binsack's counsel. The motion does not, however, seek payment of any bills.
The legal filing comes two days after Kepner says he received a letter from the jailed Shamokin resident indicating "he no longer wishes" to have him as counsel for a pending federal lawsuit against the City of Shamokin and city and state parole officials, according to court documents.
Kepner says Binsack owes him money for legal services, and "it is unknown if (Binsack) has any intention of paying (Kepner)," the documents state.
Kepner does not say in the motion how much money he believes he is owed, but does say he warned his client that if "proper financial arrangements" were not made, he would withdraw.
He asks that Binsack be given 45 days to find new counsel.
The letter from Binsack to Kepner was not included in Friday's legal filing, and calls placed to Kepner seeking comment were not returned.
Binsack is currently jailed at SCI-Rockview, Centre County, on a parole violation stemming from a bad check conviction in Lackawanna County, according to The Times-Shamrock archives.
Kepner filed a lawsuit in November on Binsack's behalf claiming his client's constitutional rights were violated by city and state parole officials. Tens of thousands of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages are sought.
Attorneys for the defendants have petitioned the court to have the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that it lacks merit.
Binsack was sued Jan. 14 in Northumberland County Court by S&S International Property Group LLC. The Nevada firm claims to have hired him as a consultant to locate investment properties.
The firm alleges among other claims that Binsack breached a contract by failing to purchase three parcels in Coal Township on their behalf, instead eventually deeding them into his own living trust.
The lawsuit says Binsack provided no expert advice, misrepresented himself as a part-owner and landlord, did not disclose his prior criminal background and parole conditions, and is not entitled to any rental income from the property in question.
More than $25,000 is sought in judgment, money the firm says was wired to Binsack to acquire the parcels, including 1021-1023 W. Independence St., and that they be deeded solely to S&S International Property Group LLC. Attorney's fees and costs are also sought.
S&S International Property Group LLC is owned by Margaret C. and Sandra Phelps, both of Reno, Nevada. It is a different firm from S&S Capital LLC, owned by Steven Crone and for whom Binsack has said he was also working as a consultant.
Binsack clashed with city officials after details of his past troubles in northeastern Pennsylvania resurfaced. He claimed conspiracy in a series of web videos posted to Facebook under the moniker "Something's Smokin' in Shamokin."
He failed to show for a parole meeting on Oct. 25 and taunted law enforcement online, and was later apprehended in New York on Nov. 20, the same day his lawsuit was filed. He was recommitted to prison for six months and, upon release in May, must report to a community corrections residency along with obeying other terms.