It appears that George Zimmerman may have conned the cons. After his recent altercation with his wife, his attorney, Mark O’Mara told ABC News in a September 10th interview that he would no longer be representing Zimmerman. That shouldn’t be surprising, considering that Zimmerman was almost arrested outside of the home of his estranged wife earlier in the week for an alleged domestic violence incident. While some media sites have claimed that the police stated Zimmerman didn’t have a gun, these reports, according to Zimmermans’s own attorney, are false. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, O’Mara said that Zimmerman was in possession of a weapon when he went to his wife’s home.
What might be surprising, however, is that O’Mara may not have dropped Zimmerman because of his tendency to get into trouble with the law. During the ABC interview, when O’Mara was asked if he had any advice for his former client, he said this:
Wait, Zimmerman never paid his defense attorney? What happened to all of the money he raised for his “legal defense fund?” It’s interesting, actually. If you visit Zimmerman’s Legal Defense fund web-site you can get a pretty good idea where the majority of the money was spent.
Zimmerman’s web page says that as of January 2, 2013, the “George Zimmerman Defense Fund” had raised a total of $314,099.07. That sounds like a lot of money. The web page goes on to give a not-at-all-detailed break-down of how the money was spent.
The first expense entered shows $95,000 for bail.
That money would have been returned following the not guilty verdict, however, which means this is no longer a valid expense. It also means the money should have been added back into the total at some point.
Next, we see that $61,747.54 was spent for 8 months of living expenses.
And that doesn’t include Zimmerman’s private security, which for 8 months cost an additional $56,100.00.
(Side note: Where was the militia? Shouldn’t there have been some gun advocacy group somewhere willing to provide this service for free?)
Leaving that page, and moving to one titled “Moving Forward” which addresses how future donations will be spent, it gets even more interesting. The predicted future expenses include the Zimmerman’s living expenses and private security as the first two items on the page. A bit further down the page, under the heading “Case Related Expenses” it clearly says “Mr. O’Mara and Mr. West have not been paid for their services. Money has been used to pay rent on office space, for IT support, for staff dedicated to the case.”
So by his own admission Zimmerman did not use the Legal Defense Fund donations to pay his attorneys. He spent the majority of the money on living expenses for himself and his wife, who was just paid more than $4,000 for one months living expenses out of the defense fund money. Wow. Here’s a question: Did Zimmerman’s lawyer drop him because he’s a bad client with a bad history that just keeps getting worse, or did he drop him because he’s collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for his “legal defense” and not bothered to pay him a dime?
Oh, and another question comes to mind. Does Zimmerman need all that private security to protect him from death threats associated with the case or to protect him from all of the right-wing gun nuts who are likely to come looking for him when they figure out they’ve been had?