Defense Official Says Cunningham Called On Behalf Of Contractor

The trial of a former defense contractor accused of bribing former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham continues this morning in downtown San Diego.

Yesterday, a Defense Department contracting officer said Cunningham called him three times on behalf of contractor Brent Wilkes.

Paul Behrens was called to testify as a government witness.

Behrens says he first spoke to Cunningham on the phone during a meeting with Wilkes at the Watergate Hotel in Washington.

Behrens says Wilkes called the meeting because he was unhappy about a delay in payment for government work he was doing.

Wilkes has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of conspiracy, bribery and money laundering.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 to accepting bribes and is serving more than eight years in federal prison.


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