John Albaugh, the one-time top aide to former U.S. Rep. Ernest Istook, can’t pay the legal bills stemming from his 2008 guilty plea to a federal conspiracy charge.
According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Washington last week, Albaugh’s attorney sought to withdraw from the case because Albaugh owes the firm “a large amount of money” and is not able to pay it.
So far, Albaugh has paid the firm of McCarthy, Sweeney and Harkaway “less than 5 percent of the money owed,” according to the firm.
Albaugh’s guilty plea was part of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and Albaugh was a key witness in September against Kevin Ring, a former colleague of Abramoff.
Albaugh testified that he helped get federal road money for Ring’s clients in exchange for meals at fancy DC restaurants and tickets to concerts and other events.
The jury in the Ring trial couldn’t reach a verdict. Albaugh is still cooperating with the federal government in the Ring case and hasn’t been sentenced. It’s not clear if and when there will be a new trial for Ring.
The judge in Albaugh’s case set a status conference for Albaugh for July 1. Albaugh now lives in Colorado.