Reem Odeh Was Only Woman On Defense Team
Drew Peterson has lost another lady.
Reem Odeh, the only woman among the eight lawyers to defend Peterson against charges he murdered his third wife, has quit the case.
But it's not Peterson's fault, Odeh said. She blamed her exit on Joel Brodsky, the longest serving of Peterson's attorneys.
Odeh's motion to withdraw from the case, which she filed Monday morning, cites "irreconcilable differences with defense counsel Joel Brodsky." Odeh declined to go into detail about the differences and said she fears Brodsky will retaliate if she speaks ill of him. She would not discuss what she suspects Brodsky will do to her but said she "wishes him luck" in his future endeavors.
Brodsky similarly said, "Best of luck," to the departing Odeh, but disputed that she was actually leaving on her own terms.
"I guess it's a case of, 'You're fired.' 'No I quit,'" Brodsky said.
Brodsky went on to say it was Peterson himself who ordered Odeh off the case.
"Drew fired her," Brodsky said, but could not explain why.
"You'll have to ask Drew, and I don't think he's available for comment," he said.
Peterson has been locked up since May 2009 while he waits to go to trial for allegedly murdering third wife Kathleen Savio, who was found drowned in her dry bathtub in March 2004. The police also suspect Peterson had a hand in killing his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who vanished in October 2007. Stacy Peterson remains missing, and Peterson has not been charged with any crime related to her disappearance.
In addition to the irreconcilable differences, Odeh's motion to withdraw accused Brodsky of keeping her from visiting Peterson in the county jail. But that didn't stop her from dropping by to see the disgraced former cop and alleged wife killer Monday to let him know she was cutting him loose as a client. She predicted Peterson would be sad to see her go.
"I think he'll be upset," she said. "He respected my opinion. I got along well with his children. I got very close to them in the past few years."
Odeh and Brodsky were law partners for years before splitting their firm in May. Odeh says things have "been contentious" ever since.
The month before Odeh and Brodsky dissolved their partnership, the two other attorneys representing Peterson jumped ship. George Lenard of Joliet and Andrew Abood of East Lansing, Mich., also cited irreconcilable differences with Brodsky in their motions to withdraw from the case.
After Lenard and Abood left, four attorneys from Chicago signed on to defend Peterson.
Odeh spoke highly of Lenard and Abood, saying, "I think they're great guys. I think they're hard workers and I think they're ethical, competent attorneys."
Asked her opinion of Brodsky, Odeh declined to comment.
By Joliet Herald-News