One Lincoln Park developer Erik Osborn no longer seeking public defender

Erik Osborn, the developer behind the One Lincoln Park luxury tower downtown, showed up at his status hearing yesterday with a little surprise: He found a lawyer.

A grand jury indicted Osborn in late 2007 on charges that he had allegedly stolen tens of thousands of dollars from business partners -- including car dealer "Dealin' Doug" Moreland -- for improvements on his former multimillion dollar home near Cherry Creek. Check out the Westword feature "The Hard Sell" for a lengthy examination of Osborn's legal troubles.

After Osborn's previous attorney quit the case five months ago, he began requesting free representation from the public defender's office. But the court was skeptical, given that Osborn's current crib is a nearly 15,000 square-foot Polo Club villa that his wife, real estate broker Angela Osborn, currently has on the market for $6.5 million.

But a court-ordered investigator will no longer need to testify on whether Osborn qualifies as "indigent." Osborn is now being represented by Charles Fife, an attorney whose firm specialized in DUI cases. Citing the complexity of the economic fraud case, Fife requested extra time to get up to speed on the details.

The trial date, originally set for the first week of February, has now been moved back to August 3.

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