Embattled State Sen. Bert Johnson gets new lawyer, new trial date

- Bert Johnson returned to court with a new lawyer, after a dispute with his previous legal team and now he wants more time to prepare for trial.

State Senator Bert Johnson left federal court Tuesday with a new lawyer and a new trial date.

The Highland Park Democrat had been represented by Cyril Hall, who agreed to take the case for free. But their relationship broke down and the senator claims he's so broke, he needs a taxpayer funded, court appointed lawyer.

Luckily for Johnson, he got one of the best. John Shea of Ann Arbor has some experience handling big cases, a few years ago he represented Kwame Kilpatrick's father Bernard in the public corruption trial that ended with the former mayor sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Bernard Kilpatrick fared better than anyone else in the case that went to trial, beating a racketeering charge and spending only about a year in prison on a tax charge.

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Prosecutors had hoped to have this case wrapped up by the end of August. Now their best case scenario is the end of October.

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