F. Lee Bailey to address Bangor Chamber

Posted Feb. 22, 2010, at 9:07 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — America’s best-known criminal defense attorney will make an appearance in Bangor this week, but not in a courtroom.

F. Lee Bailey will speak at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce’s Early Bird Breakfast at the Ramada Inn.

Bailey, 76, of Boston will speak about the development of an early-release employment program for inmates in the state’s jails and prisons. He gave a similar speech in June in Portland. Bailey also made a presentation last year to the Prison Industries Reform Committee, a panel of corrections officials and business owners, about the issue.

The program Bailey envisions would be similar to one in Minnesota, according to a report published in an Augusta newspaper after he appeared before the committee. It would allow inmates eligible for early release to be sponsored by a business and employed after their release.

Bailey gained notoriety for defending Dr. Sam Sheppard, Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson and others.

He was jailed briefly in 1996 for refusing to turn over to a court illegally obtained shares of stock and money from a client convicted of dealing drugs. Bailey later was disbarred in Florida and Massachusetts for his conduct related to that case.

Tickets for the breakfast are $15 for members, $20 for nonmembers. For reservations or information, call the Chamber office at 947-0307.