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Published: Tuesday, 10/22/2013

Probe: No proof ex-Indy prosecutor took bribes

ASSOCIATED PRESS

INDIANAPOLIS — A former Indianapolis prosecutor will not face charges that he accepted bribes while in office.

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett announced Tuesday that former Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi had been the target of a federal investigation. But he said successful cases against two of Brizzi’s associates had not yielded proof that Brizzi took bribes during his two terms in office.

“While it may be unacceptable for a prosecutor to receive a $29,000 campaign contribution from the father of a woman who has requested her prison sentence for murder be modified, or for a prosecutor to have a financial relationship with a criminal defense lawyer while determining what plea bargain should be extended to a client of that same defense lawyer, the criminal law requires more to support a conviction,” Hogsett said in a statement.

He said the cases against former deputy prosecutor David Wyser and another Brizzi associate, Paul Page, had not yielded any proof that Brizzi was behind the sentence modification for Paula Willoughby or that Brizzi allowed proceeds from a real estate transaction to influence his decision to arrange a lenient plea agreement for a client of Page.

Wyser in July agreed to a plea deal on federal bribery charges. Page has pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

Brizzi did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Hogsett said his office will forward the evidence gathered in the investigation to the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility so it can determine whether Brizzi’s conduct should be referred to the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. The commission could choose to revoke his law license.

Brizzi is currently an attorney in private practice. His clients have included former Secretary of State Charlie White, who is seeking to overturn his convictions because he says Brizzi provided incompetent counsel by failing to put on a defense in his 2012 voter fraud trial.



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