Archive for Sunday, October 26, 2003

Former Galena city official guilty in obstruction case

October 26, 2003

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— Former Galena City Commissioner Clarence T. Brandenburg was found guilty of destroying evidence during a government investigation into his company, then lying about it to a grand jury.

The case stems from a Defense Department probe into his company, L&T; Seals, which was providing defective O-rings to the department.

Prosecutors contended Brandenburg and his wife, Elesa, burned company records after investigators requested them, then said the records were destroyed earlier in a flood.

Jurors deliberated for six hours Wednesday before finding Clarence Brandenburg guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an investigation, obstructing an investigation and perjury.

The government based its perjury charge on Brandenburg's testimony before a grand jury on March 13, 2000, when he said the records had been destroyed in a flood.

Brandenburg's attorney, Craig Shultz, was out of the office Friday when contacted by The Associated Press, and his assistant said he could not be reached for comment. Brandenburg could not be reached by phone at his Galena home.

Brandenburg resigned from the Galena City Commission last year while under investigation by the U.S. Defense Department. He cited medical problems as the reason for resigning.

"This was a dangerous thing," Justice Department attorney Peter Loewenberg said. "These O-rings endangered people's lives."

Elesa Brandenburg pleaded guilty in July to obstructing an investigation. She was already serving a prison sentence on other charges in the case.

Clarence Brandenburg could face up to five years in federal prison for conspiracy, five years for obstruction and five years for perjury. Sentencing has not yet been set.

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