By Melissa Leon
Published September 14, 2019
Decorated Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted of murder in a war crimes trial this past July, has sued two of his former lawyers and a military legal defense nonprofit, according to court documents filed in Texas Friday.
Attorneys Colby Vokey and Phillip Stackhouse and the United American Patriots (UAP) are named in the complaint brought by Gallagher, who alleges that Vokey and UAP orchestrated a “money-making scheme” and purposely delayed his case.
According to the filing, they “allowed [Gallagher] to languish in pre-trial confinement for several months while engaging in delay tactics and needlessly running up the legal bills.” Gallagher was kept in pre-trial confinement at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego for more than seven months.
"Vokey induced [Gallagher] to allow him to represent him in the criminal case by promising that all legal fees would be covered by UAP and that [Gallagher] would not be personally liable for any legal fees or expenses," court documents state.
Gallagher terminated Vokey in March and severed his relationship with UAP, according to the filing. Stackhouse represented Gallagher until mid-April, when he stepped down.
Vokey filed a lawsuit against Gallagher last month demanding $1 million in alleged unpaid legal fees, according to the complaint. Gallagher is seeking a declaratory judgment stating he doesn’t owe any legal fees and that if fees should be rendered, then UAP should pay them – not Gallagher.
Gallagher, a 15-year Navy SEAL, was found not guilty of murdering an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter in Iraq in 2017, as well as charges of witness intimidation and assault. He was convicted on one count of taking a photo with a terrorist’s corpse and was sentenced to reduced rank and partial pay.
Tim Parlatore joined the Navy SEAL's legal team in March and was Gallagher’s lead defense attorney during his court-martial. Marc Mukasey, one of President Trump’s personal attorneys, joined the legal team in April.
“It’s unfortunate that it came to this,” Parlatore told Fox News on Saturday. “But when attorneys and supposed nonprofits are taking advantage of our service members, they need to be held accountable.”
UAP says it “generates public awareness and funds legal representation,” according to its website. Gallagher's complaint alleges that “UAP targets service members in need to use for their advertising campaigns, raising millions of dollars to line their pockets while providing very little to the actual legal representation.”
“We know who was committed to our family and we know who saw us a means to their own ends,” Andrea Gallagher, Eddie Gallagher’s wife, told Fox News on Saturday night. “Eddie and I firmly believe that the truth will be fully exposed.”
Stackhouse told Fox News on Saturday that he had not been served with any papers.
“It’s disappointing it’s come to this, but I’m confident a court will sort it out in the most appropriate manner,” he said.
Vokey did not return Fox News’ request for comment.