MONROE — Former city Councilmen Arthur Gilmore and Robert Stevens, who were convicted of racketeering and bribery in May 2011, are requesting a new trial.
In a motion filed in federal court, the defense argues that a new trial is warranted because of the prosecution’s failure to disclose an improper relationship between the prosecuting attorney and the lead FBI agent on the case.
A hearing to consider the motion for a new trial is set for March 4 in Shreveport.
In April, U.S. District Judge Robert James sentenced Gilmore to 41 months in prison and sentenced Stevens to 51 months in prison. The two are out of prison until the resolution of their appeals.
The defendants’ motion for a new trial states they were called to James’ chambers in September, along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook.
During the meeting, the government revealed that the case’s lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mignonne Griffing, was having an improper relationship with the lead FBI agent on the case, Special Agent Bill Chesser.
The defendants argue the undisclosed information was favorable to the defense, and that the “illicit relationship compromised the investigation and prosecution of this matter.”
This will be the second time Gilmore and Stevens are requesting a new trial.
The pair was granted a new trial after being convicted in May 2011 because the court was never made aware local businessman Eddie Hakim, the government’s star witness, was facing an IRS investigation.
However, the judge decided in March 2012 to uphold the original convictions because the court found there was no reasonable probability that the suppressed evidence pertaining to Hakim would have affected the jury’s judgment.