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Former County Officials Charged In LDC Investigation Return To Court

The men charged last month in connection with Monroe County's LDC scandal were back in court Wednesday.
On Wednesday, a judge scolded the State Attorney General's Office for the way it handled the arrests in a Monroe County bid-rigging scheme. The suspects were handcuffed and paraded before the media.

The judge was expected to drop charges against Maggie Brooks' husband, Robert Wiesner, but he said he needs more time and more information.

"I think it surprised all of us. Here we are trying to defend ourselves against we don't know what," said James Nobles, Wiesner's Attorney.

And Robert Wiesner's attorney isn't the only one. In Wednesday's hearing, the Attorney General's Office requested to re-submit Wiesner's case to a new grand jury, but the judge said charges against Wiesner are not clear. He's "in the dark" and their request is "not a slam-dunk."

In the meantime, Wiesner's attorney asked for all evidence against his client.

"He has a lot of questions which is what we've been saying since the very beginning of the case. We are six weeks into it. We still haven't seen any evidence against my client and we are anxious to actually see what there is," said Nobles.

Nobles, said the "extreme misconduct" of the Attorney General's Office is a reason not to allow a new indictment. The office sent out a press release a day before Wiesner's arrest. He and three others were handcuffed and paraded in front of the media in November.

In court Wednesday, the judge said the publicized perp walk is troublesome and would be a factor in his final decision.

"We are more than happy to take the time it takes to explore this further and outline our issues in more depth to give him the information that he needs to make a decision. It's obviously something he has taken seriously and thinking hard about and that's exactly what we want him to do," said Nobles.

The Attorney General's Office wouldn't comment on Wednesday's hearing, but defended the arrests saying handcuffs are necessary to protect the public.

"I think that you need to take account for every possibility and we were in charge of protecting both the public and the defendant," said Ann Marie Preissler with the Attorney General's Office.

While Wiesner's fate is decided, there are still 200 boxes of evidence currently stored in New York City.

"I have a duty and obligation to look at all two million of those pages and frankly it's a little bit of gamesmanship that you see by the government in certain cases like this where they try to overwhelm private council and I think that's certainly something that is going on here," said Nobles.

The next hearing is scheduled for the end of January.

In Wednesday's hearing, Nelson Rivera's lawyer asked that his client's passport be returned so he can travel for business. His new job at a computer consulting firm will require him to travel to South America.

The Attorney General's office denied the motion but the judge overruled it.



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