Public defender quits as Shawnee Ryan’s attorney
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – The local public defender’s office has withdrawn from representing Shawnee Ryan, who is accused of defrauding approximately 40 clients through her former business as an interior designer.
Jim Conway, a longtime attorney with the Colorado Public Defender’s office, told 9th District Judge Denise Lynch on Monday that his office would no longer be representing Ryan.
No reason was given for the withdrawal. Judge Lynch appointed attorney Kathy Goudy to take over Ryan’s defense.
The case began nearly two years ago, and Ryan has been represented by at least one other attorney in that time.
When asked why his office had withdrawn from Ryan’s case, Conway replied, “I can’t comment on that. We just withdrew.”
Ryan had been trying to fire Conway’s office for some time, as indicated by a letter she sent to Judge Lynch last year.
Lynch admonished Ryan to stop sending letters directly to the judge, and to communicate with the court through her attorney.
At a hearing of Ryan’s case on Jan. 19, prosecutor Andrea Bryan told the judge, “I’m beginning to feel this is a deliberate attempt by the defendant to delay this case to the point where we’re not going to have any more victims left.”
Goudy, reached at her Carbondale law office on Monday morning, said she had been informed of the judge’s decision and already had filed the necessary paperwork to represent Ryan in court.
She said she was not sure how long it will take her to familiarize herself with the case, as she had not seen the court files.
Ryan’s next appearance in court is set for Feb. 2.
Judge Lynch has indicated a desire for Ryan to plead either guilty or not guilty at the next hearing.
Ryan, 54, was arrested in May 2010 after a year-long investigation by area authorities, and charged with six counts of theft for defrauding clients of her design businesses.
Ryan was arrested again in September, 2010, on charges of check fraud and violating the conditions of her bond in the previous charge.
According to court records, approximately 40 people have been victimized by Ryan’s allegedly deceptive business practices.
Authorities say she ran design businesses in Glenwood Springs and Basalt under several different names, starting as early as 2007, including Duir Design, Glenwood Design Center, Interiors By You and Midvalley Blinds and Spreads.
Ryan is accused of providing customers with cheaper products than had been promised, and some clients reported they never received products at all, according to court documents.
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