Thomas out, Gurewitz in: Kwame Kilpatrick gets new lawyer

Thomas out, Gurewitz in: Kwame Kilpatrick gets new lawyer

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Kwame Kilpatrick Kwame Kilpatrick
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Kwame Kilpatrick, now a convicted felon, officially fired his longtime attorney Jim Thomas on Thursday. It's a move that will delay the former mayor's sentencing.

Attorney Harold Gurewitz will now be handling Kilpatrick's legal issues.

Gurewitz came to court as a utility player on Kilpatrick's legal team. He left as its clean-up hitter.

"Harold Gurewitz is top notch," said Thomas. "The legal relationship is now I'm substituted out."

Kilpatrick convinced a judge to give him yet another court-appointed lawyer, saying he didn't have confidence in Thomas.

"Are you relieved?" I asked Thomas.

"This has been a long thing. You talk about the campaign issue, you talk about the criminal case in state court, you talk about the Tamara Greene case, it's been a long five years," he answered.

While Kilpatrick's criticisms may have been hurtful, Thomas left the courthouse with his head held high.

"People have the right to an opinion. It may not be well founded, but they the right to an opinion," he said. "Believe me, every effort was expended on his behalf that we were capable of doing."

The job of preparing for sentencing and appealing Kilpatrick's conviction now falls to Gurewitz. It's not a job he wanted, but at least he's well rested.

"I just came back from a vacation," he said.

"So you're rested and ready to go?" I asked.

"I am," he responded.

Now it's Thomas' turn for a rest.

"I do have other things that I want to do like go on the honeymoon that I didn't go on last year because this case was pending. So I'm looking forward to that," he said.

And that means there's little chance Thomas will take on the case of Kilpatrick's best friend, Bobby Ferguson.

Ferguson came to court Thursday needing a new lawyer to represent him in a bid-rigging case that ended in a hung jury last year.

"So now you're available to represent Bobby Ferguson on the bid-rigging case," I said to Thomas.

"I don't think that will happen," he said.

As for Ferguson, we still don't know whether he will get a court appointed attorney. There will be some more legal arguing on that issue. We may know more next week.

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