U.S. Attorney: Intimate relationship irrelevant
by Johnny Gunter - posted Thursday, January 31st, 2013 @ 12:00 pm
Sentenced to federal prison last year for bribery, former Monroe city councilmen Arthur Gilmore and Robert "Red" Stevens should not be granted a new trial because an intimate relationship between the prosecutor and lead FBI agent on the case did not affect its outcome, the U.S. Attorney's office says.
Defense attorneys Charles Kincade and Carey Underwood filed a motion in October for a new trial based on allegations that Assistant U.S. Attorney Mignonne Griffing and lead FBI agent Bill Chesser were engaged in an intimate relationship during the investigation and prosecution of Gilmore and Stevens. Kincade and Underwood argued the intimate relationship was not disclosed to them prior to Gilmore's and Stevens' trial.
Kincade and Underwood also argued that the relationship compromised both Griffing and Chesser, especially in protecting the interest of the government's key witness in the case, Monroe businessman Eddie Hakim. They say the two went to "unusual and extraordinary lengths to protect (Hakim) from consequences of his obvious tax fraud."