Beebe Okays Huckabee's Request for Separate Lawyer

January 28, 2004 Posted at 7:17 AM CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- Attorney General Mike Beebe says it is O-K with him if Governor Huckabee wants to hire a separate lawyer in the school-funding case before the state Supreme Court.

Beebe has represented both the executive and legislative branches in the case. Huckabee says he and the Legislature are so far apart on school reform issues that they should have separate lawyers. Huckabee said Monday wants lawyer Leon Holmes of Little Rock to represent him.

President Bush nominated Holmes to a federal judgeship in January 2003, and Holmes is still awaiting Senate confirmation.

Huckabee has campaigned for more than a year for consolidating the state's smallest school districts to make school reforms more affordable. The governor has clashed with rural legislators and superintendents who have fought his consolidation measures.

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