Posted: Sep 22, 2009 8:07 AM by sleonard
Updated: Sep 22, 2009 8:07 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - A former Louisiana congressman convicted of corruption has lost his bid for a new trial in federal court.
U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandria, Va., denied a request by former Rep. William Jefferson on Friday for another trial. Jefferson was convicted Aug. 5 on 11 of 16 federal counts for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa after federal agents found cash in his freezer.
A jury in Virginia ruled Jefferson must forfeit roughly $470,000 in bribery receipts. He later filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation.
In his request, Jefferson argued that during the trial he should have been allowed to use information about a sexual relationship between Lori Mody, a cooperating witness, and then-FBI agent John Guandolo. He wanted to challenge the credibility of FBI Special Agent Timothy Thibault, who headed the case, or the integrity of the investigation, according to court records.
Guandolo posed as Mody's driver during the investigation. She did not testify at the trial.
Jefferson's motion also alleged that prosecutors delayed disclosing information about the relationship between Mody and Guandolo. Defense attorneys said that receiving information about the relationship sooner could have helped Jefferson's case, and that withholding the information violated Jefferson's
Ellis ruled that Jefferson did not show how the relationship was relevant or warranted being included as evidence.
The relationship "has no bearing on the reliability of the evidence obtained through the ivestigation," the judge wrote.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)