U.S. District Judge John Sedwick said Thursday he would rule "as soon as I can" on former Rep. Vic Kohring's request to have his corruption charges dismissed for alleged misconduct by prosecutors.
Sedwick spoke at the conclusion of a 45-minute hearing in which Kohring's attorney, Michael Filipovic, from the Seattle federal public defender's office, asserted that Kohring's trial was tainted by federal prosecutors. He alleged they manipulated the testimony of their lead witness, Bill Allen, the former chief executive of Veco Corp., and hid evidence from Kohring's defense.
Kevin Gingras, a Justice Department appellate attorney, acknowledged that federal prosecutors should have turned over more of their evidence to Kohring, but he rejected assertions that they acted in bad faith. He said the case against Kohring was overwhelming and that his 2007 trial and conviction was fair. A secretly recorded video, in which Kohring took money from Allen and then asked what he could do for him in the Legislature, was particularly damning, Gingras said.
Kohring was sentenced to 42 months in prison on his conviction by a federal jury of conspiracy, extortion and bribery. After serving about a year, he was freed in June 2009 while he appealed his case.
Sedwick declined to say precisely when he would rule. But in a similar appeal by another former legislator, Pete Kott, Sedwick delivered his ruling against Kott about two months after oral arguments.