Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: William Jefferson

For Ex-Congressman Jefferson, Justice Delayed Means Freedom

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s an old saying: “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.”

But for ex-Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, justice delayed means more FREEDOM.

Bruce Alpert, a star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, reports : ” Almost two years after a federal jury found former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson guilty of 11 counts of public corruption, oral arguments in his appeal have again been delayed.”

Jefferson, now 64,  was sentenced in November 2009 to 13 years in prison, but has been allowed to remain free pending his appeal, which has been delayed and delayed.

The New Orleans paper reported that the  4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals initially scheduled a hearing on the matter in May, but delayed that until September after Jefferson’s lawyer said he need more time to recover from treatment for lymphoma.

Now, the court says it has scheduling conflicts and will hold the hearing in late October, the paper reported.

Jefferson gained national notoriety when the FBI raided his home on Capitol Hill in the summer of 2005 and recovered $90,000 in his freezer. The money had been given to him by a business woman who was working with the FBI as part of a sting.

He lost his bid for re-election in 2008.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Legal Wrangling in ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Conviction Continues; Oral Arguments Set for May

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Nearly six years after the FBI launched a sting and 1 1/2 years after he was convicted on public corruption charges, the legal wrangling goes on and ex-New Orleans Congressman William Jefferson remains a free man.

The latest: Oral arguments for Jefferson’s appeal in the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., have been set for the week of May 10, according to Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The paper reports that, according to experts, a three-judge panel could issue a ruling by the summer, but that’s not likely to resolve the matter considering the losing side will appeal that ruling.

Jefferson was convicted in August 2009 of 11 of 16 corruption-related counts and was subsequently hit with a 13 year sentence. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., has allowed Jefferson to remain free pending his appeal.

The paper also reported that the 4th Circuit granted a Justice Department request to allow its attorneys 21,000 words in the appellate brief instead of the normal 14,000 word limit.

Oral Arguments Delayed in ex-Rep. William Jefferson’s Appeal

William J. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson of money-in-the-freezer fame has had his fair share of disputes with the federal government.

But this time around he’s got to be pleased with the government, which, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has asked and gotten more time to file briefs in the case.

After all, he remains free pending his appeal on his 2009 conviction on 11 of 16 public corruption counts. The judge sentenced him to 13 years.

The more delays, the longer he’s assured of staying out of prison in a case that began in 2005 with an FBI sting.

Oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals were set to begin the week of March 22, Bruce Alpert of the Times-Picayune reported.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. announced the delay, Alpert reported, to give prosecutors another month to file briefs, the Picayune reported.

The briefs must be filed by March 10 and Jefferson’s lawyers will have 10 days to respond.

Still, the Picayune reported that a ruling could possibly come by summer.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Constitutional Clause Causing Headaches for Justice Department in Probes on Capitol Hill

exRep. Jefferson at sentencing in 2009 /Sketch by Art Lien/NBC News

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A 2007 court ruling saying FBI agents violated the Constitution when they raided the Congressional office of Rep. William J. Jefferson in 2006, appears to be haunting the Justice Department.

Washington Post reporters Jerry Markon and R. Jeffrey Smith report that the 2007 ruling, based on the “speech or debate”clause ,   “has helped derail or slow several recent corruption investigations of lawmakers, according to court documents and sources.” The clause protects members of Congress who are conducting official business from some scrutiny or intrusion from the Justice Department.

Ex-Rep. John Doolittle

The Post reports that since the ruling “speech or debate challenges have killed an investigation of former representative Tom Feeney (R-Fla.), hampered probes of Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (D-Ind.) and former representative John T. Doolittle (R-Calif.), and slowed a pending corruption case against former representative Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.), sources familiar with those inquiries said.”

In a 3 to 0 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. ruled that FBI agents went too far in searching Jefferson’s office in May 2006 when they viewed paper documents before giving Jefferson an opportunity to say whether the material was connected to legislative activity, and consequently protected by the “speech or debate” clause. Jefferson lost his bid for re-election in 2008.

And though he won a big pre-trial legal battle over the search of his office,  he went on to get convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts and was sentenced in Alexandria, Va. to 13 years in prison. He remains free pending an appeal.

To read more click here.

Ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Sister and Niece Plead Guilty in Corruption Case

Betty Jefferson

Betty Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New Orleans political dynasty headed by disgraced ex-Congressman William Jefferson and his brother Mose Jefferson, the political operative, continues to crumble.

The New Orleans Times Picayune reports that less than a month before trial, the ex-Congresman’s sister Betty Jefferson,70, a 4th District Assessor, and her daughter Angela Coleman, 53, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to a conspiracy charge for pocketing money from political office and non-profits they controlled over 7 years.

The guilty plea still left in question the future of Jefferson’s brother Mose and his companion Renee Gill Pratt, a former city council member and state rep, who are still scheduled to go to trial March 22 in the case.

Mose Jefferson was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribing a school board official. He has been out free awaiting his latest trial.

To read more click here.

Column: The Rich Irony of the Fall of a Louisiana State Sen. and His Ties to Bill Jefferson

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sometimes public corruption — particularly in Louisiana  — has a way of making you snicker — at least for a moment.

The sentencing in U.S. District Court in New Orleans of ex-State Sen. Derrick Shepherd on Thursday to 37 months in prison for money laundering made me think of the rich irony of his downfall and his ties to disgraced ex-Congressman William Jefferson.

Back in October 2006, as a reporter for the Washington Post, I attended a candidate debate at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter in New Orleans  for the 2nd Congressional District where Rep. William Jefferson was making a bid for a 9th term.

At the time, Jefferson was under FBI investigation, but had yet to be indicted.

During the debate, which was attended by citizens and local and national media, the challengers kept taking shots at Jefferson, making references to his FBI investigation, implying his problems made it impossible for him to effectively represent the electorate in the fragile post-Katrina era.

Ex-Sen. Shepherd/senate photo

Ex-Sen. Shepherd/senate photo

One of those challengers happened to be Sen. Shepherd.

At one point, Jefferson could take  no more. He started attacking the integrity of the challengers and when he got to Shepherd, he strongly hinted of an ethical breach, saying:  “I will not say what we have to talk about there. But if pushed I will.”

Jefferson went on to beat Shepherd in the primary and eventually won re-election. (Jefferson lost a bid for a 10th term.)

And two years later, in 2008,  Shepherd pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering after helping previously convicted bond broker Gwendolyn Moyo launder $141,000 from the sale of bogus bonds, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  Shepherd kept nearly half the money.

Interestingly, the indictment said Jefferson had steered Shepherd to Moyo after he lost in the 2006 primary to Jefferson. (Jefferson was not charged in that case).

And just as interesting, after Shepherd lost in the 2006 primary, he decided to endorse Jefferson in the main election, the guy he had previously declared was crooked and couldn’t be effective as a Congressman while under FBI investigation.

Interesting how all that works.

As we know, Jefferson was eventually indicted and convicted last Fall of  multiple public corruption counts stemming from many crooked business dealings over the years. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison. He is free pending his appeal.

Hopefully, Jefferson and Shepherd will get the opportunity to spend some quality time together behind bars.

I’m sure they’ll  be able to appreciate the rich irony of it all.

Ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Brother Mose Jefferson Sentenced to 10 Years in New Orleans

Mose Jefferson/wdsu tv

Mose Jefferson/wdsu tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A sad reminder of the crumbling political dynasty of the Jefferson family in Louisiana surfaced  Thursday in federal court in New Orleans.

Mose Jefferson, the political operative for the dynasty and the brother of convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribing school board president Ellenese Brooks-Simms  and then trying to cover it all up.

U. S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon also ordered him to pay a $175,000 fine and $913,000 in restitution to Orleans Parish School Board, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper reported that Jefferson can remain free until his next public corruption trial is completed. He is scheduled to go to trial in March with other relatives on charges of ripping off non-profits.

Ex-Congressman Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison in Alexandria, Va., in November. However, the judge has allowed him to remain free pending the completion of  his appeal, which could easily take two years.

To read more click here.

Second Govt. Witness in ex-Cong. Jefferson Case Gets Major Sentence Reduction

William Jefferson

William Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Brett Pfeffer, who ended up testifying this summer against his former boss, Rep. William Jefferson, is getting a major sentencing reduction for his cooperation.

As expected, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in Alexandra, Va., on Tuesday reduced ex-Congressional aide Brett Pfeffer’s sentence from 8 years to 3 years and 4 months, Bruce Alpert of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper reported that the judge said Pfeffer’s cooperation with the government was substantial.

Pfeffer, 41,  a former aide to Jefferson, pleaded guilty in 2006 to bribing the Congressman. He then testified against Jefferson, who was convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts.

Another key government witness, Vernon Jackson, recently had his 7 year and 3 month sentence cut by about half for his cooperation in the case. Jackson had also pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson, who lost his bid for re-election last year.

Both Pfeffer and Jackson could be released next month.

Jefferson was sentenced in November to 13 years in prison. The Judge has allowed Jefferson to remain free pending his appeal.

To read more click here.