Smith seeking new legal counsel after Lujan disqualified

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A mistrial was declared in the case last month on grounds of a conflict of interest.

Guam – After a mistrial was declared in the case against former Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority Attorney Mark Smith involving Section 8 housing fraud, it appears the trial could be delayed once again.

At a status hearing last week in District Court, Smith informed U.S. Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan that he is looking at retaining legal counsel from either on island or off island. He also said that the November trial date set by Judge Ramona Manglona is not feasible with all the discovery and scheduling issues.

Late last month Judge Manglona declared a mistrial on grounds that a conflict of interest existed for Smith’s legal counsel, Attorney David Lujan, who had also served as GHURA’s legal counsel in the past.

Smith’s co-defendant, Glenn Wong, is seeking dismissal of his case, citing an abuse of discretion on the part of Judge Manglona for declaring the mistrial for reasons that don’t necessarily apply to Wong.