MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The corruption trial for Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright got underway in federal court Monday, February 25. Wright is accused of illegally making money on a land deal involving the city and FEMA.
"I need to get some lunch," defense attorney Arthur Madden said has he pushed past reporters outside the Federal Courthouse.
Madden still didn't have much to say after his meal.
"I think it's inappropriate to comment in the middle of a trial on the evidence. And I'd like to accommodate you, but I think it would be wrong," Madden said.
Wright is facing federal corruption charges stemming from the sale of land to the city. Land, which according to prosecutors, was purchased with FEMA money for a pilot housing development.
Volunteers of American Project Director Sherry Atchison spent the entire morning on the witness stand. She testified the nonprofit organization was fired by the city from the project after she told the mayor it would be illegal for him to sell personal property for street widening in the subdivision.
Mayor Wright ultimately transferred the land to his daughter who sold the half acre to the city for $27,000. Criminal charges were dropped against Wright's daughter Mary Wright.
Grant Manager Janey Galbraith was convicted in May 2012 trial. on charges relating to her involvement in two housing grants.
FEMA Project Manager Mikhael Schlossman was also called to the witness stand. He testified about rules relating to Federal Grants. The rules prohibit the grantee, which in this case would be the City of Bayou La Batre including its mayor from personally profiting from federal grant money.
One the first day the prosecution seemed to be laying the groundwork to show Wright knew the rules and tried to come up with a way to get around them.
The trial will continue Tuesday.
Despite the charges he faces, Wright was re-elected mayor of Bayou La Batre last October.
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