Friday, June 22, 2007

Judge's order clarifies ruling in Cooper trial


Chief U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier on Thursday issued an order in the case against state Sen. Jerry Cooper 10 days after a jury acquitted him of all charges.


According to the judge's order, the testimony was allowed because "a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates both the defendant and the ECD commissioner were members of a conspiracy, whose purpose was to obtain financing related to the defendant's property."

Philip Trauernict, an ECD official, testified that he declined to recommend approval for a state loan for Anthony Auyer, who was attempting to purchase the lumber mill from Sen. Cooper, until Mr. Baxter told him to support it because he had made a promise to Sen. Cooper.