Continued coverage of "Blighted Officials" trial

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - 6:00pm

BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- Wednesday, Feb. 23 -- The first trial involving those public officials involved with Operation Blighted Officials began this morning on Wednesday, Feb. 23. This is the first trial involving the investigation that became public over the summer.

Yesterday jury selection commenced, and Judge Brian Jackson chose 5 white males, 5 black females, and two white females, to decide the fate of the brothers.

Former White Castle Mayor Maurice Brown and his brother Police Chief Mario Brown, have been charged with several counts of bribery, fraud and racketeering.

Today a few key players took the stand.

A source inside the courtroom says FBI agent Maurice Hattier took the stand and brought the jury up to speed about how the investigation was set up over a five year period. He was questioned about the amount of money paid to undercover contact William Miles.

Defense attorney’s for the Brown brothers say Miles was paid more than either of the brothers allegedly received in the scandal. Hattier says the amount of money paid to miles was standard operating procedure.

Miles also took the stand today. The government presented several videos showing money negotiations. Most notably of those included St. Gabriel Mayor George Grace saying “he doesn’t accept money before an open window.”

Miles will be back on the stand tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.


BATON ROUGE (FOX44) - Jury selection started today in Operation Blighted Officials against brothers Maurice and Mario Brown.

The courtroom was packed with potential jurors this morning.
Selection was expected to last all day.

You'll recall, The former White Castle Mayor and Police Chief were charged with several counts of fraud and racketeering over the summer.

They could face up to 170 years in prison if convicted.


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