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Government Appeals Councilman Zucchet’s Acquittal


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge : More than a year after a judge threw out corruption charges against Micheal Zucchet, the U.S. Attorney has decided to appeal. Zucchet is a former San Diego City Councilman who was charged with accepting bribes from a Las Vegas strip club owner. He and two other councilmen were accused of taking the money in return for an agreement to try to repeal the “no-touch” rule at San Diego strip clubs.

One of the defendants in the case, Councilman Charles Lewis, died before the trial. Another, Ralph Inzunza was convicted and sentenced. And while Zucchet was also convicted, the federal judge hearing the case overruled the jury’s decision. He threw out convictions on seven counts, against Zucchet, and ordered a retrial on two others. Simply put, the judge said the jury erred and the U.S. Attorney didn’t prove her case. Now, that decision is on appeal.

  • Jerry Coughlan , partner at Coughlan, Semmer and Lipman and he represents Michael Zucchet.
  • John Kirby , formerly a federal prosecutor in the San Diego U.S. Attorney’s office. He is now a white collar criminal defense attorney at La Bella & McNamara.

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