THE case against embattled former Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey and his wife faced further legal delays as their fraud case lingers with a legal representative withdrawing from the case.

Mr Lacey and his wife Melissa Lacey are accused of fraud exceeding $100,000 over dealings with Townsville business man Yang Zhi Chen with the former mayor also facing an additional charge of obligation of a councillor to correct register of interests.

Ms Lacey's defence lawyer requested to withdraw from the case yesterday when the matter was mentioned in the Townsville Magistrates Court.

Zoe Navarro of Navarro Lawyers told Magistrate Ross Mack that Ms Lacey had not paid her firm's retainer and that emails, texts and other attempts to contact the woman had gone "unanswered".

"I am not funded in any way and I have not made contact with her since the last court appearance," Ms Navarro said.

Former Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Former Palm Island mayor Alf Lacey. Picture: Zak Simmonds

If Ms Lacey fails to turn up for her next court date in February, a warrant will be issued for her arrest.

Ms Lacey was not required to appear at the court appearance yesterday and because of this, Mr Mack said he could not allow Ms Navarro to withdraw without her client present.

Mr Mack adjourned the case to February and said he hoped Ms Lacey might contact her legal team with a warrant hanging over her head.

Brisbane-based lawyer Patrick Quinn of Gilshenan & Luton phoned into the court appearance to represent Mr Lacey who was not present in court.

Mr Quinn said he intended to apply for the disclosure of additional information.

He told the court he had not been provided with enough information to understand exactly what the prosecutor's case against the pair was.

A frustrated Mr Mack questioned why the case, which was before the court for the first time in April last year, was still delayed.

"Let's get this thing started," he said.

"This is not the court that is going to determine the matter, we've just got to move it on."

Queensland's Crime and Corruption Commission charged the pair in March last year over allegations the pair "obtained … a sum of money and accommodation" to the tune of $100,000.

The matter was adjourned and will return to court on February.

Ms Lacey is required to appear but Mr Lacey is not.

Originally published as Ex-Palm mayor's $100K fraud case delayed


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