5/19/11 – TG: Alamo rehires lawyer, again

Texarkana Gazette
May 19, 2011
By: Lynn LaRowe

Alamo rehires lawyer, again

The lawyer who jailed evangelist Tony Alamo fired for the second time on Monday was rehired for a third time Wednesday.

John Wesley Hall Jr. of Little Rock filed a “motion to withdraw motion to withdraw” in a civil suit filed by two men who were reared in Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. Hall’s motion indicates Alamo’s wife, Sharon Alamo, received an email from her husband with the subject line, “Rehire Mr. Hall.”

“There is no telling when it was sent from defendant from Terre Haute FCI, which I refer to as ‘Gitmo North,’” the motion states. “Therefore, per defendant’s and his wife’s directive, I am undischarged. … The trial will proceed as scheduled.”

Attached as an exhibit to the motion is the email sent from Tony Alamo.

“Please rehire Mr. Hall immediately. I got a copy of the girl’s case, he did a good job,” the email states. “Love and kisses, Tony.”

Alamo first hired Hall to represent him after his arrest on charges of child sex in September 2008. Months into the case, Alamo got rid of Hall and went with other counsel.

After a 2009 conviction of bringing his underage wives across state lines for sex, Alamo rehired Hall to work on his appeal.

Hall is also defending Alamo in a civil trial scheduled for jury selection May 31 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant in the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas.

Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondrisek claim they were starved, forced to work unpaid, denied education and beaten at Alamo’s direction by his enforcer, 6-foot-4 John Kolbek. A $3 million default judgment against Kolbek has been awarded to the plaintiffs, since Kolbek never answered the suit.

Kolbek was a fugitive, wanted for an alleged beating of Calagna, when he died earlier this year of heart failure in Kentucky.

Texarkana lawyer David Carter is representing Calagna and Ondrisek. Carter has also filed a civil suit against the ministry, high-ranking members of the organization, church-owned businesses and a security company that once patrolled the compound’s perimeter. That suit was filed on behalf of six of Alamo’s former wives and a woman who was being groomed to be a wife when she ran away from the ministry’s compound in Fouke, Ark.

A trial date for that case hasn’t been set.

Alamo is in the Federal Correctional Institution in Terre Haute, Ind., where his family visitation time is limited to eight hours monthly. At his previous placement in Tucson, Ariz., Alamo was disciplined for trying to run his controversial ministry from behind prison walls.

Alamo will not leave prison to attend the pending civil trials because of the cost, Hall said. Sharon Alamo will sit as her husband’s proxy at the defense table.

In: 2011

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