MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it had no idea part of the land used for a housing development in the Bayou belonged to the Mayor, Stan Wright.
Two FEMA employees testified in the Bayou La Batre corruption case Tuesday and accused Mayor Wright, his daughter Mary Cook, and a city grant writer of pulling the wool over their eyes.
The defense maintains the ownership was no secret.
Janey Galbraith had nothing to say as she left the federal courthouse in Mobile.
Inside much of the testimony centered on why she didn't tell FEMA land being used for a federal housing project for Hurricane Katrina survivors was owned by Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright.
"Everybody knew it was the mayor's land deed was in his name. Announced it at a city council meeting that he couldn't vote because he gave the property to his daughter. All of this business about a cover up and backdoor that is just made up information," said Vince Kilborn.
The prosecution said that isn't the case. It called Randy Kinder, a FEMA section chief to the stand.
He testified it wasn't the city council's job to tell FEMA there was a conflict of interest with the land.
Kinder said it was Galbraith's job as the grant administrator.
Kinder said, "Janey Galbraith told me several times that she managed lots of grants and she knew what she was doing."
Kinder also testified that Baton Rouge had a similar problem, and brought a conflict of interest to his attention – and another parcel of land was selected.
Kinder said had FEMA known the land belonged to Mayor Stan Wright, it would have looked for an alternate location in Bayou La Batre, too.
The FEMA grant was worth $15 million.
Prosecutors said Galbraith had access to $1 million of the money.
Not much was mentioned of Mayor Wright's daughter Mary Cook who prosecutors said accepted the land from her father, then sold it to the city for $27,000 to pay off her debt.
Cook's attorney said the only thing she's guilty of is being Stan Wright's daughter and that's not a crime.
Prosecutors allege she conspired with Janey Galbraith and her father to defraud the federal government.
If they are found guilty, that is a crime punishable with time behind bars.
The prosecution called two Bayou La Batre property owners to the stand Tuesday as well. Prosecution said it was just trying to show jurors the amount paid for Wright's land was more than others.
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