Another Corrupt Politician? Gary White Appeals Sentence

By Robyn Hagan Cain on October 05, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Gary White isn't like all of the other corrupt politicians appealing their charges; he's innocent. At least, that's what his lawyer claims.

White, a former Jefferson County Commissioner in Alabama, was convicted in 2008 on eight counts of accepting bribes from a contractor following a federal investigation that implicated four Jefferson County Commissioners.

White, who served with the county commission from 1990 until 2006, was responsible for the Jefferson County sewer program. A federal jury found that White had conspired with, and accepted bribes from, Sohan Singh in exchange for sewer contracts between 2003 and 2005 while he was an elected commissioner. Singh’s company, U.S. Infrastructure, received more than $11 million in sewer-related contracts with the county, including “no bid” professional services contracts during that time, according to the FBI.

White was sentenced to 10 years in prison for charges related to the $3.2 billion sewer project. On Tuesday, however, White had another day in court.

Appearing before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, White’s defense lawyer, Susan James, argued that the government did not meet its burden of proof that White broke the law when accepting payments from a contractor, reports the AP.

White’s corruption conviction was previously overturned on appeal for improper venue, but the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the conviction in 2009, finding that White had waived venue.

If the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals denies Gary White’s latest appeal, perhaps he can swap stories with the other corrupt politicians who have recently run into problems with the circuit courts.

Last week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied bail for former Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi, whose defense included the theory that corruption is the “mother’s milk” of politics.

The Third Circuit was similarly unimpressed by corrupt politicians, ordering a new sentencing hearing for former Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Fumo’s sentence, (after determining that the district judge had been too lenient), and upholding former New Jersey State Senator Wayne Bryant’s conviction.

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