Neilson gets new attorney

By Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Attorney Christi McCoy is new legal counsel for suspended FBI agent Hal Neilson of Oxford, federal court records show.
Neilson was scheduled for a hearing this week to explain to Magistrate Judge S. Allan Alexander and prosecutors about whether he would hire a new attorney or represent himself against an indictment accusing him of lying about his financial interests in the FBI Office Building in Oxford.
A court notice also shows the hearing was cancelled.
Ken Coghlan of Oxford recently withdrew as Neilson’s attorney and also withdrew all filings he had made to the court in the case. Neither would explain why Coghlan said he could no longer represent Neilson.
McCoy practices law in Oxford and specializes in criminal defense. She was mentioned prominently months ago as the Obama Administration’s choice for Northern Mississippi U.S. attorney.
Neilson, who pleaded not guilty, is scheduled for a jury trial in August.
Neilson friends say he and then-U.S. Attorney Jim Greenlee had a falling out several years ago, and that Greenlee “had it in” for Neilson.
It’s also widely believed that Greenlee somehow scuttled McCoy’s nomination, and now a female attorney from Jackson is the leading contender.
Greenlee has not commented on any of the accusations about Neilson or McCoy.
The case is being prosecuted by the Middle Louisiana U.S. Attorney’s Office after Greenlee’s office withdrew immediately after Neilson was indicted early in 2010.

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