Businessman seeks separate trial on corruption charges
Published: January 29,2014
D’IBERVILLE — A south Mississippi businessman wants a separate trial on corruption charges, saying he could be incriminated by a statement his co-defendant made to the FBI.
Scott Walker and former D’Iberville City Manager Michael Janus are charged in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg with fraudulently using D’Iberville money.
The Sun Herald reports that Walker wants a separate trial.
Walker’s motions says Janus told FBI agents he agreed to give Walker a contract with a 6 percent consulting fee to land a $3-million grant for D’Iberville.
Walker’s motion say Janus told FBI agents he and Walker discussed in advance transferring the consulting fee to a company they both owned.
Scott Walker is charged in a separate corruption case with his father, the ex-director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.
“Janus stated he knew he was receiving a monetary benefit and knew it was wrong,” according to the FBI report. Janus became very upset during the interview and said he was “stating that Walker had gotten him into the deal.”
Walker argues the statement could jeopardize his right to a fair trial. The statement could be used at trial against Janus, Walker’s motion says, but would be considered inadmissible hearsay where Walker is concerned. If Janus does not testify at trial, Walker’s motion says, Walker will have no chance to cross-examine Janus about his statement.
Walker’s attorney, Arthur Madden of Mobile, wants U.S. District Court Judge Keith Starrett to review all statements Janus made to the government that might be introduced at trial and order separate trials if Walker will be incriminated.
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