Friday, June 08, 2007

June 8, 2007 Sen. Cooper "not guilty"

With a quick verdict, jurors in Sen. Jerry Cooper's bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy trial found Cooper "not guilty" of all charges.

On Day One, the prosecutors laid out the motive--money. On Tuesday, former Tennessee Department of Economic Development head Bill Baxter was termed an unindicted co-conspirator by prosecutors.

At mid-week, however, you could see that this trial was probably going nowhere with this AP report.

The charges against Cooper were not connected to the 2005 Tennessee Waltz arrests of local and state legislators.

In Tennessee Waltz trials, prosecutors have been careful in building airtight cases over a period of time. So far, the Waltz prosecutors have yet to lose with 4 convictions, 5 guilty pleas, and a handful of trials yet to go.

The audio and video tapes that have been used at Tennessee Waltz trials have been compelling for jurors and apparently tell the sorry story of public corruption better than any prosecutor can.

As for Cooper, he isn't exactly home-free yet. Cooper still faces drunk-driving charges stemming from a one-vehicle accident that took place on February 7 after Cooper left a reception in Nashville at which the liquor flowed freely.

And now there are reports that testimony at Cooper's bank and wire fraud trial has raised new questions regarding a possible transfer that Cooper made of $95,000 from his campaign finance account to a personal account.

The current allegations may involve not only the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance but also the United States Internal Revenue Service.

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