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Supreme Court rejects Kohring appeal

One-line statement erases last hope for clearing Kohring

Posted: March 2, 2014 - 1:08am

ANCHORAGE — The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a former Alaska state representative convicted of corruption.

The high court in a one-line statement Monday said it would not review the case of Wasilla Republican Vic Kohring, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The court’s response was filed Thursday in Anchorage.

The appeal was Kohring’s last hope for clearing his name through the court system.

Kohring was elected to seven terms in the state House. He was one of three state lawmakers indicted in a federal investigation of influence in the legislature by officials of VECO Corp., a company that provided construction, maintenance and other services to the petroleum industry.

Kohring was accused of demanding and accepting at least $2,600 from VECO Corp. executives in exchange for support on legislation. Prosecutors also said Kohring solicited a job for his nephew from VECO and sought a $17,000 loan to pay off a credit card debt.

A damning piece of evidence in the trial was a video recorded secretly in a Juneau hotel room of VECO head Bill Allen handing over a $100 he said he wanted to give Kohring for his stepdaughter’s Easter egg hunt, followed by Allen handing over additional cash he said could help pay for her Girl Scout uniform. On the witness stand, Allen said the second wad of cash was $600 he had put in his pocket upon hearing that Kohring would be coming in to discuss a matter of great personal importance.

Allen testified he handed Kohring $600 to $700 or more on at least five occasions.

Kohring claimed that any money that exchanged hands was a gift between friends.

A federal jury convicted Kohring of three conspiracy, bribery and extortion charges in November 2007. He was sentenced to three and a-half years in prison but freed in 2009 as he appealed on the grounds of prosecutorial misconduct.

Prosecutors prepared for another trial and Kohring pleaded guilty in 2011 to one count of conspiracy. He was sentenced to time served and probation.

He appealed that conviction also, again on the grounds of misconduct by prosecutors. The 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals declined to take up the case.

Kohring last year ran for a seat on the Wasilla City Council but was not elected.

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