Ex-Rep. Weyhrauch's corruption trial scheduled

Posted: Thursday, November 04, 2010

ANCHORAGE - A federal judge has set the date for the start of the long-awaited corruption trial of former Alaska state Rep. Bruce Weyhrauch.

U.S. District Judge John Sedwick scheduled the time for a jury to start hearing the case for May 9.

Weyhrauch's attorneys, however, said there are still many issues left for Sedwick to rule on, including allegations that the case was so tainted that the charges should be dismissed. Weyhrauch, a Republican, last represented Juneau in 2006.

He and former House Speaker Pete Kott were indicted the following year over their alleged roles in helping VECO Corp., a now-defunct oil-field contractor, try to limit oil taxes.

Kott, an Eagle River Republican, was convicted and sentenced in 2007. He is out of custody while he appeals.

Weyhrauch initially faced four charges including bribery and conspiracy, and successfully appealed one count to the U.S. Supreme Court.

His case joined other defendants nationwide in limiting the role of the federal government in corruption cases.

Ray Brown, one of Weyhrauch's attorneys, said in court Wednesday he hopes to prove government misconduct in testimony by Mary Beth Kepner, an FBI agent originally in charge of the Alaska corruption investigation.

Kevin Driscoll, the latest among federal prosecutors to appear in the case, said he believed many of the pretrial arguments he expects to be raised by Weyhrauch's defense are irrelevant.

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