Thursday, February 9, 2006

The Campbell Trial Takes a Sordid Turn

The RICO corruption trial of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell took a sordid turn when the government called Marion Brooks, who had been a television anchor in Atlanta in the late 1990s, to discuss Campbell's lavish spending during their secret four-year affair.  The government is trying to establish that Campbell took large sums of cash from businesses with city contracts, and Brooks testified about his cash expenditures for various trips they made during the affair.  Prosecutors showed photographs of the two from a trip to Paris that the government alleges was paid for in part by a contractor, United Water, that had a $21 million-a-year contract with the city to privatize its water system.  In response to the defense contention that Campbell had the cash from his gambling winnings, Brooks testified that Campbell told her he mostly broke even.  According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (here), the defense did not dispute the fact of the affair and conducted only a limited cross-examination of Brooks.  The testimony certainly enlivened what the newspaper described as the "tedious" pace of a trial in which the government is essentially taking a net worth approach usually seen in tax evasion cases to establish its corruption allegations by showing that Campbell spent far more than he is supposed to have made from his job as Mayor. (ph)

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Corruption, Prosecutions, RICO | Permalink

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