Friday, December 11, 2009

Half a loaf for Minor, Teel, Whitfield

The Fifth Circuit has tossed Bill Minor's bribery convictions, while leaving intact his "honest services" fraud and racketeering convictions. The chancellors Minor caused to be "loaned" money, Whitfield and Teel, likewise had their bribery convictions reversed but their "honest services" fraud counts affirmed.

Given that the SCOTUS is reviewing the validity of the "honest services" statute, it's unsettled just where all this will end up.

(H/t commenter Ampal at NMC.)

... The bribery convictions were tossed simply because they were based on the notion that Teel and Whitfield, as recipients of grants from the state's Administrative Office of Courts (AOC), which is partly funded by the feds, they were agents of a federal program. The 5th Circuit quite properly held that Teel and Whitfield were alleged to have committed judicial misconduct, whereas the AOC grants had nothing to do with their judicial role per se.

... In the unlikely event that anyone reading this didn't already know, NMC is the go-to blog for discussion of this stuff.

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