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Court Upholds Conviction Against Former Councilman Ralph Inzunza

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Aired 9/1/09

Two former San Diego City Councilmen appeared before an appeals court today. Former Councilmen Ralph Inzunza and Michael Zucchet appealed their cases to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

— The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld the corruption conviction of former San Diego City Councilman Ralph Inzunza. But the court agreed with a federal judge's decision to reverse the conviction of former Councilman Michael Zucchet.

The appeals court found there was enough evidence that -- in exchange for campaign contributions -- Inzunza had conspired with a Las Vegas lobbyist to get rid of rules that barred customers at strip clubs from touching dancers. The court, however, stood by an earlier reversal of guilty verdicts against Zucchet on extortion and wire fraud. Zucchet could still be tried on two remaining counts. Bob Grimes is a local criminal defense attorney.

"I think the U.S. Attorney's office would be very misguided if they tried this case again, they have the right to do that but after careful analysis, I would hope that they dismiss those counts," Grimes said.

The U.S. Attorney's office hasn't decided yet on whether to pursue a new trial against Zucchet.

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