G. Allen Dale has asked to withdraw as court-appointed attorney for Herbert Young, a figure in the federal probe of alleged D.C. government corruption, but Young is opposing the move, saying it would be "a mockery" of justice.
Young, a 58-year-old D.C. contractor, was indicted in August on two counts of distributing cocaine and a single count of using a telephone in aid of drug trafficking.
Dale said in a motion filed last week that he no longer could represent Young effectively because of irreconcilable differences.
Young declined to comment about the motion, but his son, Maurice, said in an interview that he and his father believe Dale was not interested in preparing an aggressive defense.
"My opinion is that Allen Dale was more interested in getting my father to cooperate with the prosecutors," Maurice Young said.
In his own handwritten motion filed yesterday, Herbert Young quoted Dale as saying he could not represent Young "in good conscience due to the fact that the jury will be made up of mostly/totally black people."
Young referred in his motion to a flier that he said came from "the black community." Young said the flier depicted Dale as helping the FBI deliver convicted cocaine dealer and probe figure Karen K. Johnson to U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova. Young and Johnson are black; Dale and diGenova are white.
Dale said in a telephone interview yesterday that he had not seen a copy of Young's motion, but he said his decision to withdraw was not related to race.
"I unequivocally deny making those statements, and aside from that I have no comment," Dale said. "The client in our office always comes first, and we will not respond in any way that will hurt the client."
Johnson, who is also a client of Dale's, testified recently before a federal grand jury about her relationship with Mayor Marion Barry. Sources have said Johnson testified that she provided drugs to Barry on numerous occasions and that she received payments from another D.C. contractor, John Clyburn, in return for her refusal to testify about Barry before a grand jury in 1984.
Young, in his motion, asked U.S. District Judge Stanley S. Harris to schedule a hearing on Dale's motion. Harris has not ruled on Young's motion.
After his arrest in August, Young was identified as a figure in the federal investigation of District government.
At one point, Young described himself to associates as a "fence-straddler" -- someone who provided information to federal agents about possible irregularities in D.C. contract awards and who gathered information that could be used to undermine the undercover phase of a federal probe of city contracting.
Sources said late that month that federal investigators were probing whether Young had obtained information about the investigation from FBI clerical workers and funneled the information to Barry. The mayor has said he did not receive such information.
Young also has told associates that he was indicted in a reprisal for his telling Barry in May that he had observed federal agents conducting surveillance of Barry's home in Southeast Washington.