Criminal Justice

Convicted Rapist Tells Newspaper His Lawyer Was Distracted by DA Race

A defendant awaiting sentencing for rape is claiming his defense lawyer was distracted by his candidacy for district attorney.

Joseph Sposito alleged in a letter to the Albany Times Union that his lawyer, Lee Kindlon, was distracted during trial by his race for Albany County district attorney, the newspaper reports. “This man was consumed by his campaign, not my defense,” Sposito wrote. He has since hired a new lawyer to represent him.

Kindlon denied the accusation in an email to the Times Union. “I pour my heart and soul into representing my clients every day,” he wrote. “There is no ‘off’ switch for me. If I sacrificed anything, it was the time I would have spent with my wife and my three young boys. I got up early and I stayed up late. That’s my dedication to my job.”

Kindlon represented Sposito as a private lawyer, though he also worked for the county as an assistant conflict defender. (He has since resigned from the county job.) At the same time he was working on the Sposito trial, he also billed the county for some work on other cases, the story says. Kindlon has said he was working on motions, letters and other matters for the county.

Sposito’s new lawyer, E. Stewart Jones, is defending Kindlon’s work for the county. “Was what Lee was doing unusual? Absolutely not,” Jones told the Times Union. In the midst of a trial, lawyers often work nights and weekends on other cases, he said.

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