Last week, one of the lawyers working to get wife-killer Drew Peterson a new murder trial blamed attorney Joel Brodsky for blowing the case. On Monday, Brodsky slapped back, filing a court paper claiming former co-counsel Steve Greenberg "suffers from a severe mental illness."
Mentally ill or not, Greenberg is still on Peterson's defense team. The same can't be said for Brodsky, who tearfully claimed in October that he was voluntarily withdrawing from the case. In last week's memorandum penned by Greenberg, which paints Brodsky as a , it alleges that Brodsky was "discharged" from the defense team.
Brodsky has followed his withdrawal—or discharge—from the criminal case by pulling out of a wrongful death action filed against Peterson in 2009. The father and sister of Peterson's drowned third wife, Kathleen Savio, filed the lawsuit in April 2009, less than a month prior to Peterson's arrest on charges he murdered Savio.
Peterson was found guilty of Savio's murder in September following a five-week trial. After handing down the verdict, jurors said testimony from Savio's divorce attorney, Harry Smith, clinched their decision.
Brodsky called Smith to the witness stand and questioned him. Greenberg has called this a disastrous move and said Brodsky made it alone, against the advice and urging of other attorneys on Peterson's defense team.
In his motion to withdraw from the civil case, which says virtually nothing about withdrawing from the civil case but quite a bit about Greenberg, Brodsky alleges that Greenberg was on board with the ill-advised Smith strategy but now denies it because "his mental illness requires that he can never be wrong."
Brodsky also claims Greenberg "developed a hatred and resentment of Joel Brodsky," not to mention that Greenberg is supposedly "fixated and obsessed" with him.
But Greenberg wasn't the only one Brodsky was going after in his court filing—he also took a swipe at Peterson, whom he had seemingly developed a deep friendship with during the five years of their association following the mysterious disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, in October 2007.
"Drew Peterson, because he is facing the likelihood of having to spend the rest of his life in prison, is, like a man grasping straws, knowingly accepting and agreeing to make false allegations against Mr. Brodsky based on Greenberg's ill-conceived advice and counsel," Brodsky wrote in the motion.
Brodsky failed to return calls for comment. Peterson, who is locked up in the Will County jail while he waits to be sentenced to up to 60 years in prison for killing Savio, also was unavailable to discuss Tuesday's filing.
When told of Brodsky's filing, Greenberg said it was just additional evidence to be used when he tries to prove Brodsky was ineffective in his defense of Peterson.
"Taken as a whole, it's so nonsensical, and the fact that he filed such a pleading will be exhibit A to support our allegations that (Brodsky) should never have been leading the charge," Greenberg said. "Those of us who remain (on the defense team) are focused on getting Mr. Peterson a new trial, and not on Mr. Brodsky.