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Attorney for NAACP chief asks for new prosecutor

COLUMBIA (AP) — An attorney representing state NAACP President Lonnie Randolph on charges of refusing to pay his dry cleaning bill and fighting with officers says he wants a new prosecutor handling the case.

Joe McCulloch says in documents filed Tuesday that city prosecutor David Fernandez is compromised because of pressure from publicity and local politicians.

McCulloch says the trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges should have been dismissed and that his client was having a diabetic episode.

Randolph was arrested July 12 at a Columbia dry cleaners after employees said he would not pay for his clothes or leave. City Manager Teresa Wilson went to the scene, which Mayor Steve Benjamin later criticized.

Last week, Fernandez told a judge he wanted more time to evaluate whether to prosecute.

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