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Lake of the Pines alleged conman has case continued again

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A Lake of the Pines alleged conman is continuing the court process after some controversy regarding his attorney. William Lawson Campbell, who was 64 when he was arrested in October, allegedly conned $650,000 out of local community members, many of whom were his Lake of the Pines neighbors. On Monday Campbell appeared for his second arraignment in Nevada City and pleaded not guilty to his 29 felony counts, according to Clifford Newell, Nevada County district attorney. Newell said Campbell’s legal representation came under consideration Monday. “The counsel he had hired, (Greg Klein of Nevada City), had exhausted all his retainer funds and asked to be taken off the case,” Newell said Tuesday. Newell said the court decided to appoint the Nevada County Public Defender’s Office to represent Campbell, but the office objected. “They felt it was a conflict of interest based on a sixth amendment violation and for a continuity of council,” Newell said. Donald Lown Jr., Nevada County public defender, said Tuesday he couldn’t comment on the office’s decision because it included confidential information. According to Newell, the court appointed Klein as Campbell’s conflict counsel. Newell said Klein’s salary for the case is now being paid for by tax payers, much as a public defender would be. Klein was unavailable for comment Tuesday. Newell said Campbell’s next court date is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. July 18 in the Nevada City courthouse. During this proceeding Campbell could either change his plea to guilty or no contest or a trial date would be set, Newell said. “The next step is to either resolve the case or to go to trial,” Newell said. “We are fully ready to go to trial in this case and it’s our intention to push it either to resolution or trial. My office is trying to push this case forward as fast as possible.” Campbell’s Lake of the Pines home was scheduled to be auctioned at 12:30 p.m. June 14, but the auction was postponed to 12:30 p.m. July 14 in front of the courthouse in Nevada City due to beneficiary request, according to Agency Sales and Posting. The auction has been rescheduled numerous times. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com