MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) The federal trial against Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright got underway Monday morning in Mobile.
Wright is accused in a land swap deal involving FEMA funds after Hurricane Katrina. The former grant writer for Bayou La Batre was convicted of conspiring to commit fraud, embezzlement and money laundering in the case. Janey Galbraith was sentenced to three months in federal prison.
Opening statements were given by federal prosecutors and Stan Wright's defense attorney Monday morning.
Prosecutors say the whole case boils down to a complex theme of Wright trying to raise money for his daughter. Prosecutors say Wright gave land for a housing development to his daughter that he knew the city was going to buy. She sold it, prosecutors say, then paid him and his wife the money back later on. The federal government says that's a conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, Wright's attorney Arthur Madden, says there is no mystery, no crime and no intent defraud anyone of anything. Madden says the mayor even made an announcement at a city council meeting that he owned part of the property up for sale and gave it to his daughter. Madden says Wright then told the council that he couldn't vote on the sale of that land.
The trial is expected to last a couple of weeks.
Local 15 News has a crew at the trial. Check back here on our Facebook
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