Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BingoGate: McGregor files yet another motion to dismiss

image Attorneys for Milton McGregor today filed a new motion to dismiss the indictment against him. The indictment alleges that McGregor and a group of gambling interests and lobbyists conspired to bribe public officials and get a gambling bill passed in the 2010 legislative session.

McGregor’s side of the alleged conspiracy has mounted the most vigorous defense of any group among those originally indicted and today’s filing shows that they aren’t letting up.

In today’s motion, McGregor argues that the original grand jury that handed down the multi-count indictment last October was improperly instructed as to what constituted a violation of federal law on bribery. Specifically, McGregor argues that the prosecution has been pursuing the case based on an improper interpretation of the law and accordingly, improperly instructed the grand jury last fall.

The defense also notes that while dismissals of indictments are extraordinarily rare in cases like this, the action is warranted because of the error. If the Court agreed with McGregor and threw out the indictment, it would set new precedent and I frankly don’t see that happening. The “flagrant deceit” standard for doing so is much higher than the argument laid out by McGregor’s defense team, and the government will likely have an easy time getting the Court to agree. Put it this way—in order for the Court to have a clear cut reason for throwing out the indictment, the defense would have to show that the prosecution’s conduct was so awful that it flagrantly deceived the grand jury into producing an indictment it otherwise would not have.

Good luck with that. I’m no fan of some of the members of the prosecution team, especially those who have been chastised by other District Judges for umm…  prosecutorial misconduct. But the defense doesn’t seem to have reached that bar, this time.

Jury selection for the USA vs McGregor et al is slated to begin Monday morning, June 6 at the federal courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama. I see no reason why this thing doesn’t go to trial next week but hey…  With this bunch, who knows what could happen?

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