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Tapes played in Anderson trial

Lisa Demer

As testimony began today in the public corruption trial of former state Rep. Tom Anderson, federal prosecutors tried to drive home their case by playing for jurors snippets of secretly recorded conversations.

Some of the recordings were hard to hear, and a scrolling transcript shown on a large screen was fuzzy and hard to read.

Among Anderson’s growing group of friends and family members in the courtroom was his wife, state Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage.

One conversation played for jurors took place July 21, 2004, at the Southside Bistro in Anchorage. Cornell Companies consultant Frank Prewitt and lobbyist Bill Bobrick were meeting over the prospects of working out an arrangement to pay Anderson to work on Cornell’s interests. Cornell is a large private-prisons business.

Bobrick told Prewitt that with Anderson, they’d get “two for one.” At the time, McGuire was in the House, chair of that body’s Judiciary Committee and dating Anderson.

“So we get two legislators for the price of one?” Prewitt asked.

“Yeah,” Bobrick said.

During a break in the trial today, McGuire said she was outraged.

“It sickens me,” McGuire said, that they were talking about her at the lunch and the implication that she would go along with such a scheme. “They don’t even know me.”

She added: “I’m one of the most independent people in the Legislature.”

McGuire referred to Bobrick, who has pleaded guilty in the corruption investigation, as “an admitted criminal.” She said Prewitt was under investigation himself for suspected illegal activities and that he was cooperating to get himself out of trouble.

“Who cares what they have to say,” McGuire said.

Her husband, Anderson, represented East Anchorage in the Legislature from 2003 until January. He didn’t run for re-election last year.

Anderson was indicted in December on seven felony charges including bribery, extortion and money laundering. His trial started Monday and is expected to last about two weeks.

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Find Lisa Demer online at adn.com/contact/ldemer or call 257-4390.


By LISA DEMER
ldemer@adn.com