Louisiana Political News Wire
Supreme Court's 'honest services' ruling could affect local corruption cases
After the Supreme Court narrowed the scope of a statute often used to prosecute corrupt politicians, the lawyers went to work. Former Mandeville Mayor Eddie Price filed a motion asking for his prison sentence to be reduced from more than five years to as little as six months. Former New Orleans technology chief Greg Meffert requested that his trial be put off until January so he could re-evaluate his defense strategy in light of the June 24 decision involving former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling and "honest services" fraud. Long a favored tool of federal prosecutors, the honest services statute was criticized by Supreme Court justices during oral arguments as unacceptably vague, encompassing not just unethical dealings by elected officials and corporate CEOs but an average Joe cheating his employer by reading the racing form at work, in the words of Justice Stephen Breyer.
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