Taft client James Snyder, former mayor of Portage, Ind., was charged with two counts of public corruption, along with a tax charge related to his private mortgage business. After obtaining an acquittal for one public corruption charge at trial, the Taft team has now reversed the verdict for the other public corruption charge following extensive briefing before the trial court. Snyder had faced the prospect of a felony conviction and up to 23 years in prison on charges that he solicited or accepted two bribes and had corruptly obstructed the Internal Revenue Service.
The ruling, announced on Nov. 27, is a victory for Snyder, whom the Taft team argued should be acquitted because of prosecutorial misconduct and insufficient evidence. While the trial court did not fully acquit Snyder, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen did reverse the verdict, and has asked prosecutors to decide whether they will retry him on the charge that he accepted a $13,000 bribe in exchange for contracts to sell garbage trucks to the city.
With this most recent ruling, Snyder’s sentencing dates were vacated.
Taft began representing Snyder post-indictment. The team was led by Indianapolis partner Jackie Bennett and also included Indianapolis partner Jayna Cacioppo and associate Vivek Hadley. In addition to an extensive pre-trial motions practice—including hundreds of pages of briefing devoted to a hot-button email seizure issue—Taft represented him in all aspects of the trial, including trial victory of defeating one public corruption charge, and the post-trial victory of reversing the other public corruption charge.
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