Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Commissioner Mildred Fernandez Charged With Racketeering, Bribery

She is charged with racketeering, bribery and other charges related to her 2010 campaign.

Commissioner Mildred Fernandez
Mildred Fernandez trial: Jury selection finished for today
Former Orange County Commissioner Mildred Fernandez in court on Tuesday during the first day of jury selection in her public-corruption trial. (Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel / November 1, 2011)

Opening statements in the Mildred Fernandez public corruption case could begin as early as mid-day on Wednesday as both the prosecution and defense made good progress during the initial phases of jury selection Tuesday.

For much of the day Tuesday, a pool of 40 jurors was asked about hardship issues and then some were individually questioned about their knowledge of the case based on media exposure.
Many of those people said they had heard bits and pieces about the case against Fernandez, but noted that they could separate the details they've heard or seen from evidence and testimony presented at trial.
Fernandez is charged with 15 counts, including racketeering charges, bribery and accepting illegal campaign contributions. The charges stemmed from an undercover operation in which she accepted cash from someone she thought was trying to develop a project. That person was actually an undercover agent.
Jurors were released Tuesday at around 5 p.m. A couple were excused entirely. The remaining individuals will return to court in the morning at 9:30 a.m. They were reminded not to observe any news about the case, so they can remain as ignorant about the facts of the case as possible.

 The attorneys should begin selecting individual jurors and striking others in the morning. Once they have a jury, including alternates, they will begin opening statements. The trial is expected to run through next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment