Friday, March 31, 2006

Hurley: State Must Name Thompson's Alleged Conspirators

The defense for DOA employee Georgia Thompson submitted four reply documents this week to the prosecution's consolidated response to pretrial motions, reiterating its arguments to dismiss the case against her.

Thompson, charged with two felony counts for allegedly "bid-rigging" a contract so it would be awarded to Gov. Jim Doyle contributor Adelman Travel, is facing a May 15 trial.

Hurley filed a reply supporting his motion for bill of particulars, and makes the case that the prosecutors have failed to define terms like "political considerations," saying it "is a term that has no discernible meaning."

Hurley asks how he can mount a defense on a charge of "bid-rigging" without knowing who his client allegedly conspired with to rig the bid. "By its very nature, 'bid-rigging' necessarily involves more than one person, because collusion is its
essence," Hurley writes.

The charge "prompted Thompson's initial request to identify who, if Thompson did not act as a principal, she aided and/or abetted, or, alternatively, who did the same with regard to her. So too, she requested that the government identify any unindicted co-conspirators as well as those individuals (assuming that there are any) whose interest were advanced by the accused's alleged conduct."

In an 11-page reply supporting the dismissal of the indictment, defense attorney Hurley proposes a hypothetical of an employee who saves the state money on a contract and is nominated for an "Employee of the Year" award.

"Now, if the law is as the government asserts, then the state employee could be charged with precisely the same offenses as Georgia Thompson, for precisely the same reasons," Hurley writes. "In both cases, the motivation of the employee benefits the state; and there is, additionally, the possibility of a job benefit and making her supervisor look good, based on her actions. Yet this is not a crime and, for that reason, the Indictment must be dismissed."

In a brief supporting the dismissal of count two of the indictment, Hurley tweaks the prosecution for citing United States v. Rosenberg.

"More somberly, when at this late date the United States cites its treatment of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg as an exemplar of what is lawful and right, then Thompson and the whole citizenry need help ... That case did not quite mark AUSA Roy M. Cohn's worst hour -- character assassination and deceits on behalf of Senator Joseph McCarthy perhaps claim that distinction. ... the entire Rosenberg case did not mark the federal government's best hour, either. That the government today aspires to no better must discourage anyone who would not see a sovereign beggar justice."

A fourth filing argues for the inclusion of "friend of the court" briefs filed by AFT-Wisconsin and its affiliated bargaining units.

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