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Weyhrauch's court appeal date set

Posted: Thursday, October 01, 2009

ANCHORAGE - The U.S. Supreme Court will listen to oral arguments Dec. 8, as former state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch seeks reinstatement of a court order limiting the federal mail fraud case against him.

Weyhrauch, a Juneau Republican, sought work in 2006 from the oil-field services company VECO Corp. while the Alaska Legislature was still in session. VECO officials were actively lobbying the Legislature in opposition to increased oil taxes.

Prosecutors said Weyhrauch should have disclosed his solicitation as a conflict of interest.

Weyhrauch's attorneys said state law required no such disclosure and the federal fraud statute could not be used to charge him with defrauding Alaskans.

U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick had ruled against prosecutors on one count of a four-count indictment charging Weyhrauch with conspiracy, extortion, bribery and fraud.

The government appealed and prevailed in the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Weyhrauch appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Weyhrauch had been set to be tried in 2007 with former state House speaker Pete Kott. Their cases were separated over the mail-fraud issue.

Kott was convicted and had served about two years of a six-year sentence when he and former state Rep. Vic Kohring, also convicted on corruption charges, were released in June.

Their prison terms are on hold while Sedwick decides whether their trials were tainted by prosecutors who withheld evidence from his attorneys.



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