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Rosa Parks' Estate Drained By Judge In Wayne County, Mich., Attorney Claims

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ROSA PARKS
In this Nov. 28, 1999 file photo, Rosa Parks smiles during a ceremony where she received the Congressional Medal of Freedom in Detroit. A lawyer involved in a long-running dispute over the estate of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks claims that a judge allowed two other lawyers to pile up fees that ate away about two-thirds of the estate's $372,000 cash value. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) | AP

DETROIT -- An attorney claims a judge and two lawyers involved in a long-running dispute over civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks' estate conspired to drain the estate's cash.

Attorney Stephen G. Cohen said in court papers Tuesday that Wayne County Probate Judge Freddie Burton Jr. conspired with John Chase Jr. and Melvin Jefferson Jr. to rack up more than $507,000 in mostly unnecessary legal fees. Cohen claims the estate is $88,000 in debt.

Chase and Jefferson's lawyer Alan May denies any conspiracy. Jefferson told The Detroit News the court action was a "great fabrication." Burton declined to comment to the Detroit Free Press.

A hearing is May 22.

Parks left almost all her estate to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute, which Cohen represents. Relatives challenged Parks' will after her 2005 death.

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