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Attorney: Judge, lawyers drained Rosa Parks estate

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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