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New lawyers for two men in Burr Oak Cemetery scandal

Friday, May 11, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
by LAUREN FITZPATRICK AND LISA DONOVAN

Attorneys for brothers accused in the Burr Oak cemetery scandal quit the case Friday, telling a Cook County judge the men could no longer afford to pay them.

That means new attorneys for Keith and Terrence Nicks will essentially start reading from scratch the estimated 1.2 million documents and images in evidence.

Judge Joan O’Brien acknowledged the brothers’ poverty due to unemployment and noted the foreclosure on Keith Nicks’ home before appointing public defenders to represent them.

Cemetery workers Keith Nicks, 48, and Terrence Nicks, 42, along with backhoe operator Maurice Dailey, 62, were charged in July 2009 after an investigation revealed graves were dug up and their contents dumped so plots could be resold in the historic black cemetery near Alsip.

The cemetery’s company declared bankruptcy as a result of lawsuits filed in the wake of the revelations, and Burr Oak now is run by a trustee.

Dailey, who was recently hired at another south suburban cemetery in trouble with the county, kept his private attorney and returns to in Cook County Circuit Court in Bridgeview in June.

Carolyn Towns, the ringleader of the grave-reselling scheme, already pleaded guilty and is serving a 12-year sentence at the Lincoln Correctional Center.



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