MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A deceptive money trail, and allegations of intimidation were brought out Wednesday during testimony in the federal corruption trial for Bayou La Batre Mayor Stan Wright.
Wright returned to the Federal Courthouse Wednesday morning for the third day of trial, as the prosecution continued to present its case.
"I think it's going very well," Wright said. "I'm kind of glad everything is coming out. The truths come out. You know, for a year-and-a-half, I been beat up. My whole community has been beat up, and my family's been beat up. Now it's going to be time for us to tell our story."
An FBI Forensic Accountant, Kathryn Scott testified for the prosecution. Scott explained the complex scheme the government alleges Mayor Wright used to personally profit from a FEMA housing grant.
Prosecutors said Wright owned the land when the city was awarded the $15 million FEMA grant for a subsidized housing development in June 2007.
On November 26, 2007 Wright and his wife wrote a series of checks to their daughter, Mary Cook, totaling $25,000.
The word "loan" was written on one of the checks.
Cook sold the land to the city for $27,300, which was approved by the council November 15. Eleven days later, she deposited four checks in a bank account she shared with her parents. They totaled $27,300.
In his cross examination, defense lawyer Arthur Madden brought out that the daughter had simply repaid money that had been loaned to her by her parent to pay off an equity line of credit.
Madden said his client didn't get any of the money.
In addition to corruption, Wright is charged with attempting to intimidate witnesses.
The Bayou La Batre housing coordinator testified that he was called to the mayor's home about a month after he was interviewed by the FBI.
During that meeting, Tommy Reynoso said, Wright called him disloyal more than a dozen times. The employee said he was afraid for his job.
"He's full of bull. He's full of bull," Wright said.
"I don't want to say too much… It's been a rough year-and-a-half, and I'm ready for it to be over, over, so we can move on," Wright said.
Before it's over, Wright's defense lawyer expects to begin presenting his side of the case on Friday.
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