Archive for Saturday, March 11, 2006

Former mayor acquitted of racketeering, bribery

March 11, 2006

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— Former Mayor Bill Campbell was acquitted Friday of lining his pockets with payoffs while guiding Atlanta through a period of explosive growth that helped secure its place during the 1990s as a world-class city. But the jury convicted him of tax evasion.

Campbell, 52, could get up to nine years in prison and $300,000 in fines, but legal experts have said it's doubtful he would receive the maximum sentence.

The federal jury took a day and a half to acquit Campbell of racketeering and bribery after a seven-week trial that put his womanizing and his high-rolling, jet-setting ways on display with his wife sitting dutifully in the courtroom for most of the proceedings.

Campbell had no visible reaction as the verdict was read.

Later, outside court, he said he had "great regrets" that the jury convicted him of anything. "I know that I'm innocent," he said.

A somber Campbell described the tax charges as "fairly minor," saying they were tied to his income from speeches and public appearances.

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