RENO, Nev. (AP) - A federal judge in Reno has removed one juror but declined to declare a mistrial in Harvey Whittemore's case alleging campaign finance violations after the juror was overheard making a comment that raised questions about whether he could be fair to the former developer and lobbyist.
Judge Larry Hicks told attorneys before the defense was to begin presenting its case Thursday that someone told a court clerk after the prosecution rested its case Wednesday the juror complained about having to listen to the other side's bull.
The judge and the lawyers questioned that juror and then replaced him with one of the alternates. They also questioned others jurors who might have heard the comment, but no others were ousted.
Defense lawyers called as their first witness Whittemore attorney Dan Bowen, who challenged the accounts of FBI agents who questioned Whittemore last February at Bowen's office
RENO, Nev. (AP) - Federal prosecutors in Reno have rested their case against Harvey Whittemore, the former developer and lobbyist accused of making illegal campaign contributions to Harry Reid.
Whittemore is accused of using family, friends and employees at his real estate company to effectively launder his own contributions to the Senate majority leader. Prosecutors say he bundled together nearly $150,000 for Reid's re-election campaign in 2007 by writing checks to others, when then contributed the maximum $4,600 each to the Nevada Democrat.
Whittemore's lawyers say the contributions were perfectly legal. They say each individual Whittemore approached could have declined to participate, and each wrote their own personal check to the Friends of Harry Reid Committee.
Defense lawyers started calling their witnesses on Wednesday in the trial expected to stretch into next week.
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