Taxpayers will pay legal bills for Recio

The attorney for Michael Recio, one of Mayor Frank Melton’s former police bodyguards, has been reappointed to his defense with the federal government picking up the tab.

After reviewing Recio’s financial records, U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda Anderson determined Recio’s “net financial resources and income are insufficient to enable him to obtain qualified counsel” and ordered Cynthia Stewart appointed as his public defender.

Stewart has been Recio‚Äôs attorney for most of the time since he and Melton were indicted last July on federal civil rights charges, but last month Stewart filed a motion stating the cost of Recio’s defense had become too financially burdensome. In that motion, Recio, who is on paid administrative leave from the Jackson Police Department, listed a mortgage payment of $1,689 and monthly credit card, personal loan and car loan payments totaling $1,815 as reasons why he cannot afford to pay for his own defense.

Clarion-Ledger 4/15/9