Prosecutors say Teddy Mitchell's lead attorney may need to be disqualified from the illegal gambling case because the attorney's father will be a government witness.
Scott Adams is fighting to stay in the criminal case.
“The case law is 100 percent on my side. ... I have no conflict in this case. I never even talked to him about this deal,” the well-known Oklahoma City attorney said Tuesday.
Prosecutors on Friday notified U.S. District Judge David Russell that the attorney's father, Richard Adams, “is a material witness in this case.”
They contend the judge should disqualify Scott Adams if the judge determines the “ethical conflict will adversely affect his performance.”
A federal grand jury last month indicted Mitchell, two of his sons, six other men and a Costa Rican company. The case is pending in federal court in Oklahoma City.
Mitchell, 57, of Oklahoma City, is accused of being the leader of an illegal gambling operation that had at least $8.1 million in proceeds. He has pleaded not guilty.
In their notice to the judge, prosecutors reported Richard Adams frequently participated in high-stakes poker games at Mitchell's house. Betting pots for the games would reach between $10,000 and $20,000, prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors also told the judge Richard Adams placed bets with Mitchell on sporting events, spending an average of about $5,000 a week.
They reported Richard Adams “unsurprisingly ... lost bets, paying tens of thousands of dollars to the defendant.”
They also reported Richard Adams has known “the defendant to be a ‘bookie' for about” 25 years.
Prosecutors also identified Richard Adams as the key witness in one of the money-laundering counts in the indictment. Prosecutors reported Richard Adams in 2009 “agreed to ‘loan' defendant $50,000, which Adams felt was strange because defendant always had cash. Mr. Adams wrote defendant a check for $50,000 and defendant paid him back with $50,000 in cash within a week.”
Richard Adams is not charged in the case.
Last week, Scott Adams told news reporters, “What Teddy did was all legal. Everything he did was legal. ... They're misrepresenting what's going on.”
On Tuesday, the attorney argued in a legal brief that the judge doesn't even need to hold a hearing on the conflict issue.
“When my father first learned about his potential involvement in the ... case, I advised him to obtain his own counsel. I did not discuss with him the facts and circumstances of his testimony,” Scott Adams wrote in an affidavit.
He stated his father hired attorney Ron Wallace.
Scott Adams also submitted to the judge a waiver signed Tuesday by Mitchell.
“After seeking the advice of an independent attorney, Laura Deskin, concerning any potential conflict of interest in this matter, I completely understand and waive any actual or potential conflict of interest,” Mitchell stated in the document.
Prosecutors contend the waiver may not fix the problem. They asked the judge to conduct “an independent examination of the defendant to determine if he knowingly and intelligently made the decision to continue with the conflicted counsel.”
Mitchell's wife, Julie, was brutally beaten to death in their northwest Oklahoma City home on Nov. 2, 2010. She was 34. The homicide remains unsolved.