Aide Says Boss In Drug Case Too Drunk To Know Better

COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A former legal assistant for one of three lawyers accused of defrauding their clients in a diet-drug settlement testified Friday that her boss was too drunk to know what was going on.

Rebecca Phipps worked for Melbourne Mills Jr., who along with co-defendants Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion have been accused of taking $65 million they were not entitled to receive from the $200 million settlement of a lawsuit over the now-banned diet drug fen-phen.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Friday that Phipps testified that Mills would struggle with tremors when he wasn't drinking. Mills' attorneys claim his alcoholism prevented him from knowing that anything illegal was happening.

Phipps also testified that Mills believed Gallion and Cunningham tried to cheat him out of an equal share of the legal fees.

Defense lawyers attacked Phipps' credibility on cross-examination. Phipps, who was paid $1.4 million for her work on the settlement, has received immunity from prosecution in exchange for her testimony. Phipps also turned over documents she was supposed to destroy.

Cunningham and Gallion are part owners of the racehorse Curlin, last year's Preakness winner and Horse of the Year. A judge has ordered that Cunningham and Gallion's $3.5 million ownership share and winnings go into a trust for eventual payment to the more than 400 plaintiffs who won a $43 million settlement in a civil lawsuit against the attorneys.

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  • by Wow Location: Richmond on Jun 3, 2008 at 08:17 PM
    If hes too drunk to know whats going on he needs life in prison after all how many people has he knowingly misrepresented and sent to jail because he was too drunk to defend them?
  • by Abby Location: Clay City on Jun 3, 2008 at 05:01 AM
    So what if he was drunk all the time, that still doesn't excuse what he did. If he gets out of this because he was too drunk to know what was going on, then I guess all the people in prison that were driving drunk and killed an innocent person will get out now, because they were just too drunk to realize what was going on as well. Send all 3 of them to prison, teach them a lesson-one they need to learn.
  • by grumpy on Jun 1, 2008 at 08:52 PM
    whats new he has always been a drunk and also unethical
  • by Zatoichi Location: Richmond on Jun 1, 2008 at 06:14 AM
    I knew the honourable Mr Mills a number of years ago and I can confirm he was either an alcoholic or just plain nuts.


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