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Story Last modified at 8:57 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kott attorney seeks evidentiary hearing

Pete Kott's attorney wants to hear more of the potentially helpful evidence she says prosecutors didn't share during the trial against the former Eagle River lawmaker in hopes of getting the case dismissed altogether.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month tossed out Kott's 2007 federal conviction on bribery, extortion and conspiracy charges after it found that prosecutors left out evidence that could have helped Kott's defense. But the panel stopped short of dismissing the case, an action reserved for situations where the prosecution is believed to have acted in bad faith.

The case was built around testimony from former Veco Corp. executive Bill Allen. Kott's conviction, like that of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens and former state Rep. Vic Kohring, was thrown out after it was revealed that prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that could have helped the lawmakers including a police investigation into Allen's alleged sexual abuse of minors.

Now Seattle attorney Sheryl Gordon McCloud is asking the panel to hear still more evidence that she claims federal prosecutors did not disclose during Kott's trial. Among them, according to her April 6 filing, is that prosecutors did not write down everything Allen told them if it was deemed favorable to defendants and that Allen said Kott never "extorted" him.

Kott, captured on secret audio and video surveillance separately asking Allen for marching orders and taking money, was convicted and served about a year in prison.

The appeals court can't grant McCloud's petition without asking for a response from the government, she said.

A representative of the U.S. Department of Justice declined a request for comment.

This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 13, 2011.