Mitch Brooks, former association executive with ties to the pool industry, remains in prison and was denied a new public defender.
Brooks was arrested in January, accused of three first-degree felonies -- two counts of grand theft in the first degree of $100,000 or more, and one of racketeering -– for alleged bookkeeping irregularities in his management of the National Plasterers Council. One forensic accountant said that Brooks’ firm, Visioneering Consultants, took almost $1.5 million from the association.
In a handwritten request for new counsel, Brooks said the current lawyer didn’t meet with him until the day before his arraignment, for only 15 minutes, and they haven’t met since. He said the attorney hasn’t responded to numerous messages from Brooks and an associate. He pointed out this was his first arrest, and made reference to a disability.
“As the defendant has been accused of three serious felonies with the possibility of accumulative end-of-life prison terms, we pray the court concludes that, for whatever reason, the current public defender is not capable of properly defending this defendant ...,” Brooks’ letter stated.
At the April 28 hearing, his request was denied. Brooks is being held on $1.5 million bail. If convicted, he faces up to 90 years in prison.