Friday, June 27, 2008

Judge OKs release of McGee audio recordings

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert today ruled that certain evidence from former Ald. Michael McGee's trial could be released to the public, including wiretap recordings played during the trial.

In allowing the release of wiretaps, Clevert would not release CDs and DVDs containing body-wire recordings or those that weren't entered into evidence. He also withheld bank records and other documents that could be used for identity theft purposes.

The defense had argued that all the records should be held at least until another federal hearing could be held after McGee's appearance in state court next week, arguing that the immediate release of recordings could taint a potential state jury pool. Prosecutors argued that the state case is irrelevant to the federal case and said the public had a right to access the information.

A lawyer for the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel also appeared before the court and argued that the guilty verdict was already the most prejudicial information that a potential jury could hear and said the public should have access to the underlying evidence that was the basis for that verdict.

Prosecutors made a CD of audio recordings available today. Other documents are expected to be released after Clevert's staff reviews them.

Download a .zip file of the audio recordings (21 MB)

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