Judge scolds Kohring's lawyer for press contact

Attorney accused of trying corruption, bribery case in the newspapers

Posted: Friday, October 19, 2007

ANCHORAGE - The lawyer defending former state Rep. Vic Kohring got a scolding in court on Wednesday.

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U.S. District Court Judge John Sedwick told John Henry Browne, a Seattle criminal defense lawyer, to stop trying Kohring's bribery and corruption case in the press.

Sedwick was referring to a letter leaked to The Associated Press that outlined the defense's stance in detail.

Sedwick said it appeared the letter from a second defense attorney, Wayne Anthony Ross of Anchorage, was given to reporters in an effort to obtain favor before the trial.

In the letter, Ross had written: "As they say in the movies, 'You dun got the wrong man.' "

Prosecutor Joe Bottini told Sedwick that Browne was making unsupported claims in various legal motions that were getting lots of publicity.

The judge the defense lawyer's behavior was "unusual, to say the least."

Kohring is accused of demanding and accepting up to $2,600 in cash and a $3,000 job for a relative from former VECO Corp. executives in exchange for his support.

The indictment also alleges Kohring sought but did not receive a $17,000 payment for credit card debt.

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