Harrison upgrades legal counsel

Pleading poverty and availing himself of the public defender at government expense didn't turn out to be a great strategy for Greensboro staffing executive Greg Harrison considering that a jury last December convicted him of 63 counts of obstructing the IRS and failing to pay payroll taxes.

A federal judge expressed skepticism about the notion that Harrison had run out of money during a hearing that resulted in his decision to reject the defendant's motion for release on bail. Denial of pre-sentencing release was a preluded to the judge's order granting the public defender's request to withdraw from the case and order to the defendant to pay $1,000 to a new lawyer.

Now, it appears the defendant is taking the exact opposite tack, having retained the counsel of Solomon Wisenberg, a high-powered white-collar crime defense attorney with the Washington, DC law firm Barnes & Thornburg. Wisenburg is perhaps most renowned as deputy independent counsel in the investigation of the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky investigations of President Clinton.

According to a notice filed in federal court on Friday, Wisenberg will serve as Harrison's counsel, along with Winston-Salem lawyer David B. Freedman. Wisenberg's co-counsel is no slouch either, having defended Durham County District Attorney Michael Nifong on ethics charges before the NC Bar.

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