Lawyer: ‘Carnival-like pranks’ ruined Peterson’s chance for a fair trial
By Janet Lundquist Sun-Times MEDIA December 13, 2012 6:22PM
Updated: December 13, 2012 7:28PM
Drew Peterson’s former lead attorney thought representing a famous client would put him in the big leagues, and focused on his own “self-glorification” to Peterson’s detriment, according to a new filing in the case.
Thursday afternoon Peterson’s attorney, David Pielet, filed a memo in Will County court supporting the defense team’s claims that former lead attorney Joel Brodsky had a conflict of interest and ineffectively assisted Peterson.
The lengthy memo, authored by defense attorney Steve Greenberg, details the ways he believes Brodsky ruined Peterson’s chances of acquittal, not the least of which was orchestrating and sensationalizing the media coverage of the case.
Brodsky “paraded Drew across the airwaves as if Drew were a sideshow, suggesting carnival-like pranks to heighten public recognition of himself and his client, as exemplified by the ‘Win a Date With Drew’ and a Bunny Ranch Reality Show,” Greenberg wrote, allowing media outlets to wine and dine him and his wife in the process.
In December 2007, Brodsky and Peterson struck a deal with a publicist to get the duo photo ops and television appearances, magazine spreads and even product endorsements, including commercials.
The men also wanted the publicist, Glenn Selig of Selig Multimedia, to get them book and film deals, Greenberg wrote.
Thursday evening, Brodsky once again denied he was ineffective in representing Peterson during the two-month trial this summer.
“Drew is desperate,” Brodsky said. “He’s facing the rest of his life in jail. He’ll say anything, and he has an unethical lawyer in Greenberg who will let him do that.”
Peterson’s attorneys have filed a motion asking Judge Edward Burmila to throw out the jury’s verdict, or at least give Peterson a new trial.
The motion claims a number of errors on Brodsky’s part during the ex-Bolingbrook cop’s summer trial on charges he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Among the gaffes they claim are Brodsky’s decision to put attorney Harry Smith on the witness stand. A number of jurors cited Smith’s testimony, in which he recalled Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, telling him she knew details of how Peterson killed Savio, as key in their decision to convict Peterson.
“The direct (questioning) was the iceberg, the cross (examination) the rushing water, and the result was the Captain had sunk the ship,” Greenberg wrote, describing Brodsky’s examination of Smith and the subsequent cross examination by the state.
Brodsky has insisted he did not make any legal errors during the trial, but said he withdrew from Peterson’s defense team in October to quiet the controversy sparked by an earlier motion claiming he botched the case.
That motion was filed by attorney John Paul Carroll of Naperville, and listed 14 reasons why Brodsky allegedly failed in his representation of Peterson, including lying to his client. Peterson has denied the allegations in that motion.
But Greenberg’s memo says Brodsky threatened to reveal privileged information if Peterson fired him or let other attorneys take the lead.
“That’s a bald-faced lie,” Brodsky responded Thursday evening.
Peterson is due back in court on Jan. 10 for a status update. A date for an hearing on the motion for a new trial could be set then.