A former state employee charged with using bogus driver’s licenses to rack up more than $23,000 in illegal purchases said Monday she’s broke and needs a court-appointed lawyer.
Nan Farwell, 47, told a Spokane County judge she needs a week to apply for assistance through the public defender’s office.
Farwell was originally arrested in 1992 and charged with 27 counts of theft, fraud and forgery. A former state Licensing Department supervisor, Farwell made false IDs and used them to buy jewelry and clothes on credit in 1991 and 1992, authorities said.
She pleaded not guilty to the charges, but left Spokane weeks before her 1992 trial was to start. She apparently hid in Mexico for most of the past five years.
Federal agents in San Diego arrested her this June after the Mexican government deported Farwell for using a false name.
Five years ago, Farwell hired Spokane attorney Pat Stiley to defend her. Since her recent arrest, Stiley’s firm has helped Farwell only “as a courtesy,” said defense attorney Scott Hill.
Hill added that Farwell doesn’t have enough money for a private defense lawyer.
Because of speedy trial deadlines, prosecutors needed to have Farwell go on trial within the next two weeks. During Monday’s hearing, however, Farwell said she’d agree to waive her right to a speedy trial in order to seek a public defense.
Farwell’s trial date is now set for Aug. 4.
Investigators say Farwell created more than 35 false driver’s licenses. They said she used state equipment from the Valley licensing department office to manufacture the bogus cards, taking names of actual Spokane residents and adding her picture.
She then went to area department stores and created credit accounts in the names of her victims, authorities said.
One of the victims, Diane Perry, sued Farwell in 1993 and won a $500,000 judgment in Spokane County Superior Court.
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