Hearing set to discuss Neilson’s legal counsel

OXFORD – Federal Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander set a June 22 hearing in Oxford for more information about what suspended FBI agent Hal Neilson intends to do about legal counsel.
A couple of weeks ago, Neilson parted ways with local attorney Ken Coghlan, who asked the court to let him withdraw, as well as withdraw all motions he had filed in the case.
Neilson was indicted on charges that he lied about his financial interests in the Oxford building, which houses the FBI Office. He pleaded not guilty.
Alexander’s order Thursday said she will consider the government’s latest motion to determine whether Neilson will get a private attorney or represent himself at trial scheduled to begin in Oxford in August.
Alexander said Neilson’s failure to contact the government or to get new counsel could cause problems for the trial’s work schedule.
Prosecution is being handled by assistants with the Middle Louisiana U.S. Attorney’s Office after the withdrawal of northern Mississippi prosecutors, who apparently believed they were too close to the case.
Neilson and the Northern U.S. Attorney’s Office reportedly have been at odds for several years, even to the point that prosecutors deliberately went around him to the Jackson office for help in the Richard Scruggs case in 2007.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal