Lafayette DA Update – 3/26/13

Suspect in bribery case released pending trial

LAFAYETTE — A key figure in the federal investigation of bribery in the local court system has been released pending trial with orders to have no contact with any witnesses in the case.

A federal grand jury in February indicted Robert Williamson, 64, of Lafayette, on counts of conspiracy, bribery and making a false statement to a federal agent.

He made an initial appearance on the charges Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna, who allowed Williamson to remain free on a $50,000 unsecured bond, meaning Williamson would not be subject to paying the money unless he fails to make a court appearance.

Williamson, a private investigator, is accused of helping set up a four-year scheme to bribe District Attorney’s Office employees in return for favorable treatment of criminal defendants, mainly in DWI cases.

Williamson is set to be arraigned on the charges April 2.

Williamson arraignment set for April 2

Robert Williamson, the private investigator accused of masterminding a pay-for-plea bribery scheme involving the District Attorney’s Office, made his first court appearance today.

Williamson, 64, flanked by his attorney, Mike Small of Alexandria, appeared before federal Magistrate Judge Patrick Hanna in Lafayette.

Hanna read the multiple counts Williamson faces and the maximum penalty for each. He was released on an unsecured $50,000 appearance bond.

Williamson’s arraignment, where he will enter a plea, was continued until 9:30 a.m. April 2 at the request of Small.

Williamson, a Lafayette resident, is accused of a pay-for-plea bribery scheme to obtain favorable outcomes for his offender clients.

Five people, including an assistant district attorney and the district attorney’s secretary, entered deals, pleading guilty to either participating in the bribery conspiracy or not reporting it.

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