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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit issues one Indiana ruling today

In USA v. Robert White (ND Ind., Rudy Lozano, Judge), Judge Kanne writes:
The defendant appeals a conviction for multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. The underlying fraud alleged in the indictment was a failure to disclose a potential conflict of interest while serving as an elected public servant in Gary, Indiana. The defendant argues on appeal that the district court erred by preventing the defense from presenting its theory of the case to the jury and by committing various sentencing errors. Because we find no error, we affirm.
Here, from the opinion, is some of the historical background:
At its heart, this case is about a corrupt politician who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Robert White was an elected official in Gary, Indiana, serving on the city’s Common Council. In the Summer of 2003 there was a drowning in Gary at the beach where Lake Street arrives at the Lake Michigan shore. Sometime shortly thereafter, White met with Gary’s Superintendent of Parks and the conversation turned to the need to construct a fence to prevent children from unauthorized access to the beach in that area. The drowning, along with the apparent ease with which children were able to walk from a nearby school to the shore, made the project a prime candidate for an emergency contract—that is, a contract that would not be subject to competitive bidding or other inconvenient scrutiny.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 19, 2006 02:29 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions