In today’s Daily News account of Assemblyman Eric Stevenson’s federal corruption trial, the paper reports on the defense lawyer’s effort to cast government witness, Sigfredo Gonzalez as a political enemy. Bronxites will remember that Stevenson and Gonzalez were political allies in 2008. Also, Gonzalez (like Stevenson) has moved among various Hispanic political camps. Stevenson trial seems like a send-up of politics with tales of death threats, sex w/ hookers, steakhouses, and bribe money tucked into waistbands.
The Daily News reported:
"Bashir said the taped conversation demonstrates that Gonzalez — the wire-wearing witness who snared Stevenson in alleged bribery — had it out for Stevenson. The witness was in league with Hispanic politicians seeking to unseat the state assemblyman, Bashir said.
But Preska ruled the “probative value” of the conversation “very slight.”
The judge added that Bashir failed to clear the accuracy of the transcript with prosecutors before asking that it be admitted and that Gonzalez’s taped conversation would be more “prejudicial” than “probative” if presented to the jury.
Stevenson faces up to 55 years in prison if convicted of bribery and other charges."