Former legislator wins delay in bribery trial

Postponement granted until after legislative session

Posted: Friday, March 30, 2007

A federal judge has delayed the bribery trial of former state Rep. Tom Anderson until June, after the expected end of the Alaska Legislature's 2007 session.

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The trial of the Anchorage Republican had been scheduled to begin April 9. The date was moved on Wednesday to June 25 in Anchorage.

The delay removes what might have been a distraction for Anderson's wife, Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage. She's an influential member of the coalition controlling the Senate under the leadership of Senate President Lyda Green, R-Wasilla.

McGuire chairs the Senate's State Affairs Committee and the Joint Administrative Regulation Review Committee. She was unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.

Anderson was indicted on federal charges of bribery, extortion and money laundering in December, accused of having used his legislative office to illegally work on behalf of a Texas private prison operator.

Anderson did not run for re-election. McGuire, formerly also a member of the House of Representatives, ran successfully for an open seat in the Senate last year.

Anderson's lawyer, Paul Stockler of Anchorage, asked a U.S. District Court judge for the delay, citing the volume of material turned over by the defense and that required review.

The discovery process is not yet complete, Stockler told the court, and he expects at least 50 and possibly as many as 100 DVDs and CDs containing video and audio recordings related to the case to be provided soon.

"Defendant and his counsel will need additional time to review the new discovery and prepare for trial," Stockler told the court.

Prosecutors have revealed in court flings that they have tapes of Anderson talking with lobbyists about what they allege are illegal payoffs.

• Pat Forgey can be reached at patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.



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