NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - New Orleans City Councilman Jason Williams’ case was back in federal court on Wednesday (Aug. 3) over his effort to get tax evasion charges against him dismissed.
His attorney said the case is filled with political overtones but a prosecutor from the Western District Court says that Williams alleged criminal behavior needed to be stopped.
Williams and his co-defendant Nicole Burdett took part in a teleconference hearing.
Their attorneys filed a 16-page motion seeking discovery, evidence and a dismissal of the charges.
They are questioning the political overtones of the case with Williams being indicted one month before qualifying.
But a prosecutor from the western district said that Williams has had tax problems for nearly 20 years and owed the IRS $90,000 in 2011 before the current investigation began. The prosecutor insisted his criminal behavior had to be stopped despite Williams claims that this is a civil matter.
“It doesn’t matter what the prosecutor it was going to buy or not buy. It matters what Judge Martin Feldman buys, this is a big ask by the defense,” FOX 8 Legal Analyst Joe Raspanti said. “It’s going to be hard for them to get a judge to dismiss charges completely based on these allegations.”
Williams’ attorneys are also trying to dig deeper into the makeup of the grand jury questioning whether it was representative of all races. Prosecutors are fighting that move saying there is no justification for it.
“What is certainly sacrosanct is what goes on in a grand jury what is said. You don’t want to know the people’s names, but you may want to know their age, race and gender, and that may be able to be gotten to,” Raspanti said.
Following the one-hour hearing, Feldman said that he is taking the case under advisement and will make a ruling later.
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