Lafayette DA Update – 2/4/13

Man accused of leading DWI bribery scheme asks for trial delay

By Richard Burgess

LAFAYETTE — A Lafayette private investigator who allegedly orchestrated a bribery scheme to get favorable treatment for DWI defendants in the local court system is asking a federal judge to push back his scheduled March 10 trial.

U.S. District Judge Elizabeth Foote has already granted one delay in the case, pushing Robert Williamson’s trial back from its original date in December until March after he asked for time to seek medical care.

A federal grand jury indicted Williamson last year on charges of conspiracy, bribery and making a false statement to a federal agent.

The alleged scheme operated from 2008 to 2012, and employees of the District Attorney’s Office received more than $70,000 in cash, along with gifts that included bicycles, clothing and an autographed New Orleans Saints hat, according to court filings from federal prosecutors that outline the allegations.

Federal prosecutors have not said how many DWI cases were involved.

District Attorney Michael Harson has not been implicated in the scheme and has said he was not aware of any bribes involving his employees.

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