Friday, April 20, 2007

U.S. Attorney asks judge to reconsider Hurtgen decision

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago filed a motion late Thursday asking for reconsideration of a decision to dismiss the charges against former Tommy Thompson aide and bond trader Nick Hurtgen, arguing a federal judge erred in his analysis of the case.

A federal judge last month dismissed the seven counts of extortion and mail and wire fraud against Hurtgen, the one-time head of the municipal bond business for the Bear Stearns & Co. office in Chicago.

Prosecutors alleged Hurtgen was part of a kickback scheme involving a construction executive and the head of the Illinois board that regulates hospital projects. Judge John Grady found prosecutors had failed to provide evidence that Hurtgen knew of the kickback scheme involved in an Illinois hospital project.

But U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald argued in today's motion that the government had met the legal requirements to show a scheme to defraud and it should be up to a jury to decide whether "Hurtgen had the specific intent to defraud the people of Illinois." He also argues the federal extortion statute does not require prosecutors to lay out "details about the scope of Hurtgen's knowledge" of the extortion scheme.

Hurtgen attorney Steve Hurley could not be reached for comment late this afternoon.

See the filing:
http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/070418HurtgenMotion.pdf

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