COPY-Suspended Panhandle sheriff to get public defender

Associated Press - March 9, 2009 1:34 PM ET

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) - Suspended Okaloosa County Sheriff Charles Morris told a federal judge Monday he doesn't have the money to hire an attorney to defend him against federal fraud charges.

During a first appearance in a Pensacola federal courtroom, Judge Miles Davis said a federal public defender would be appointed to represent the embattled sheriff.

Gov. Charlie Crist suspended the Panhandle sheriff in February after a federal investigation led to Morris being charged with fraud involving fictitious bonuses he allegedly created for sheriff's department employees.

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