The accused dirty Westminster Police Department cop arrested by the FBI for repeatedly using his badge to aid a Little Saigon loan-sharking operation and extortion plot wants taxpayers to pay for his Newport Beach-based criminal defense lawyer.
While U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Jean P. Rosenbluth agreed Anthony Duong Donner could have the services of a court-appointed lawyer, the officer will have to pay $500 a month to help offset the public's costs.
Because the case got underway in late August, the taxpayer contribution to Donner's defense isn't known at this point.
Meanwhile, the case against the cop and businessman Kevin Khanh Tuan Do has been assigned inside Orange County's Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse to U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter, a well-respeceted, veteran judge with extensive criminal case experience.
The no-nonsense Carter has set an Oct. 21 status conference and a Nov. 11 trial date, although the likelihood of the case getting this year to a jury stage for an expected 7-day trial would be remarkable.
Both Donner, 28, and Do, 38, have pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by Assistant United States Attorney Brett A. Sagel, a specialist in public corruption cases and one of the prosecutors who took down crooked Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona.
Donner, a graduate of Golden West College's law enforcement program who apparently lived free in Do's Fountain Valley home, is accused of using his police officer job and threats of police retaliation to pressure a female businesswoman to pay 60 percent annual interest in Do's alleged loan sharking scheme operating in Westminster, Garden Grove and Santa Ana.
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According to court records, the cop is represented by John W. Barton of Newport Beach and Shaun Khojayan of Beverly Hills will serve as Do's privately retained attorney.