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Innocent Until Proven Guilty, But Don’t Cancel the Trial

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On November 6th, four men with close ties to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks were arrested on a variety of felony charges including, grand larceny, money laundering, and bid-rigging.

One of those men was Robert Wiesner, the husband of County Executive Maggie Brooks; who was charged with two felony counts of bid-rigging. Wiesner is the former security director for the Monroe County Water Authority.

On November 11th, the New York State Attorney General’s Office released the complete text of the 25 count indictment of the four close associates of Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks.

Wiesner’s lawyer, James Nobles, immediately cried foul, because the State Attorney General’s office did not invite Wiesner to testify before the grand jury that brought the charges, even though Wiesner had asked to testify.

That’s an oops. It’s like finally getting to the front of the line after waiting forever at the DMV and having the clerk tell you that you didn’t fill out the form correctly so you have to leave the counter and start all over again.

The four men are scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday.

Yesterday, in response to a FOIL request from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, the Attorney General’s Office released thousands of pages of documents and emails relating to the investigation.

The more that come out about this case, the more it seems that where there’s smoke there’s fire.

The New York State Attorney General’s Office has acknowledged that they made a mistake by not allowing Wiesner to testify to the grand jury prior to filing charges. Therefore, the State Attorney General’s Office has announced that because they didn’t dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s, they plan to withdraw the charges against Wiesner on Wednesday, and then convene another grand jury, let Wiesner testify, and then file the charges against Wiesner again.

That sounds reasonable, to everyone but Wiesner’s lawyer, James Nobles, who says that on Wednesday he will ask the judge to prohibit prosecutors from seeking a new indictment.

He wants the charges against Wiesner to vanish into thin air because of a technicality.

Vanish altogether, like the last spark of a burnt piece of paper.
Hans Christian Andersen

The New York State Attorney General’s office is perfectly willing to go back and correct its mistake, so Wiesner can have his day in court. But Wiesner’s lawyer doesn’t want that.

He wants the whole thing thrown out of court.

That doesn’t make any sense. It’s like saying you can’t have an eraser on your pencil, or that you can’t use the spell checker when you use Microsoft Word.

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