LAS VEGAS (CN) – The former Clark County Republican Party treasurer, who hired a hit man to kill his ex-wife and her father, says the criminal lawyer who initially represented him charged a $75,000 fee for two motions and custodial visits. “What is that, like $8,000 a minute or something?” said Christina DiEdoardo, who is now representing the former treasurer, John Chartier, in his civil suit against his former lawyer.
Chartier, who is serving four consecutive life terms in prison, sued his former criminal lawyer Anthony P. Sgro in Clark County Court.
Chartier claims that Sgro assured him he would personally conduct oral arguments at hearings, and that Sgro made the promise to induce Chartier’s family to retain Sgro’s law firm, Patti & Sgro, also known as Patti Sgro & Lewis.
But Chartier says Sgro missed several oral arguments and delegated work to another attorney, Eric Christiansen, at public expense.
Defendants claimed to have spent the entire retainer, even “when the total scope of their work consisted of two motions filed twice and several custodial visits,” the lawsuit states.
Chartier says his family paid another $75,000 to hire Craig Mueller, who concluded the case.
Chartier was convicted of hiring a hit man to “take out” his wife and father-in-law after the couple’s divorce and custody battle over their then-4-year-old son.
Rachel Bernat, 43, and Carlos Aragon, 65 were stabbed to death Aug. 18, 2004 in the driveway of their home. Both were barefoot and in pajamas, according to media reports.
Chartier and the hit man, David Lee Wilcox, were both sentenced in 2006 to four consecutive life terms.