PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ A former employee of the U.S. Navy who admitted leading a kickback scheme that cost the Navy $18 million is asking for a new lawyer less than two weeks after pleading guilty to conspiracy, theft of government property and tax evasion.
Ralph Mariano on Tuesday filed papers in U.S. District Court in Providence saying there has been a "complete breakdown'' in the relationship between him and his lawyer, Robert Corrente. Corrente is a former U.S. Attorney, and Mariano says he has a conflict because he was leading the office at the same time the U.S. Attorney's office was investigating the scheme.
Corrente would not comment.
Mariano says he does not want to change his plea, but wants a new lawyer to help him before he is sentenced in September.