U.S. Magistrate Dennis Inman has unsaddled a Cocke County woman who climbed tall upon a high horse in professing her innocence in a case involving alleged overbilling the Department of Veterans Affairs $37,500 in “sitting fees,” apparently charged for caring for her husband, according to court documents.
For starters, Linda McSwain wants U.S. Magistrate and U.S. District Judge Leon Jordan off the case, and she wants a replacement for her court-appointed attorney, federal public defender Nikki Pierce, according to a hand-written letter directed at “to whom it may concern.”
“This is a big mess ya’ll have gotten me into. My husband goes back to the doctor in November … I’m getting tired being told on the phone if I don’t do this and do that the government is going to put me state penitentiary. I am also being tired on the phone (sic) by certain parties that I am imagining my sickness and I am going to prison!!” the letter states.
“I was accused of not being my husband’s babysitter,” McSwain further wrote. “I have always been my husband’s babysitter … I do not appreciate coming to my home taking pictures of my family on the wall … I had respect for everyone of ya’ll until ya’ll lost your respect for me!!”
Inman tersely denied what he concluded was a frivolous a motion, and invited McSwain to slow her roll.
“The thrust of her motion is that she blames her lawyer and the two judges for the ‘big mess’ she is in … All Judge Corker has done to this point is initialize her, appoint an attorney and release her on conditions. Attorney Pierce has not yet had an opportunity to do anything, and (McSwain) has yet been before Judge Jordan,” Inman’s order states.
“Whoever is to blame for the ‘mess’ in which (McSwain) now finds herself is not her lawyer of either of the two judges,” Inman concluded.
Barring another continuance that McSwain is seeking, she has until Oct. 8 to decide whether she wants to plead guilty or take her chances at trial. If she admits guilt, the sentence will almost certainly include an order of restitution for the money she allegedly stole from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“I also want an extension (in) my case,” McSwain wrote in a post script to her letter. “I do not want ya’ll on my case. Anyone would get sick being told what ya’ll are accusing me of!!”