- Associated Press - Thursday, August 25, 2011

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island judge is refusing to grant free legal counsel to help the winner of the first season of the CBS reality show “Survivor” appeal a nine-month prison sentence.

Judge William Smith on Thursday rejected 50-year-old Richard Hatch’s request for a court-appointed attorney to help him fight the sentence handed down in March for violating the terms of his supervised release by failing to settle his tax bill.

Hatch, of Newport, spent more than three years in prison for not paying taxes on his $1 million “Survivor” winnings. He was released in 2009 and ordered to refile his 2000 and 2001 taxes and pay what he owed. Smith ruled he never did and returned him to prison.

Hatch, who claims he is “destitute,” is scheduled to be released in December.

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