Detroit businessman tries to fire third lawyer in land deal fraud case

Last month, Robert Carmack's first legal team barely made it past introductions before he let them go. 

"We only wish him the best, these things happen," said attorney Mike Rattaj.

Carmack's second choice for a legal team never even made it into court. Then he asked to get rid of his third defender.

"We had a disagreement yesterday, she hung up the phone on me," said Carmack. "She hung up the phone on my other attorney and I just don't think she's done enough on my case to prepare herself for this."

With the opposition in constant flux, prosecutor Patrick McCombs was almost left speechless - almost.

"I don't know what to say when lawyers ask to withdraw," McCombs said.

State police drop extortion investigation of businessman

Carmack says he is just looking for the right attorney. After all, his neck is on the line.

Detroit officials say Carmack ripped the city off by selling a piece of land in southwest Detroit for $1 million without paying for it.

Carmack says he was sent the deed for the property to make up for another land deal the city backed out of, and that he is innocent of fraud.

The prosecutor told Judge Cylenthia LaToye Miller, Carmack is trying to pull another fast one, this time trying to avoid a trial.

"This is strategy on the part of the defendant to avoid his liability," said McCombs.

The judge decided to wait on deciding whether Mayor Mike Duggan can be called to testify, but she told Carmack his preliminary examination would go on as scheduled.

"I said no further adjournments, and that is exactly what I meant," Judge Miller said.

By then, there wasn't much time to hear evidence that will help the judge decide whether the case will go to trial. Only one witness took the stand before the matter was put on hold - again.

This case will be back in court on March 12. And the day after that, the judge is scheduled to rule whether Mayor Mike Duggan will have to sit for a deposition.