Friday, February 19, 2010

Dynamic duo back in court

Posted By on Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 4:40 PM

Looks like the Denver attorneys for developers Ray Marshall and James Brodie are following the first rule in criminal defense work: stall.

Indicted Nov. 24, 2009, by a grand jury on 33 counts of theft and racketeering, the two developers involved in the U.S. Olympic Committee deal have popped in and out of court several times since then. But there's still not been a ruling on whether there's probable cause or crimes were committed.

That's because the attorneys, Patrick Burke for Brodie and Jeffrey Pagliuca for Marshall, keep raising questions they hope will lead to dismissal of the charges, which allege the pair used several entities to defraud 15 people of money through deception. Those entities included limited liability companies that appeared in a chain of land transactions involving the downtown USOC building.

In exchange for the city spending about $32 million to provide a building at 27 S. Tejon St. as the USOC headquarters and Olympic Training Center improvements, the USOC agreed to stay in Colorado Springs for 25 years.

Marshall's and Brodie's LandCo Equity Partners operation was chosen after Mayor Lionel Rivera, who works for UBS Financial Services, acted as investment advisor to Marshall. Rivera didn't reveal the relationship to anyone. It was raised in an ethics complaint filed with the city last year, but the ethics commission cleared Rivera, saying he did nothing wrong.

Today, the LandCo legal beagles asked to review a transcript of the grand jury's voir dire (Latin, meaning to tell the truth), the questioning of potential jurors upon which their selection for jury duty is based. When prosecutor Robyn Cafasso acknowledged that some transcripts don't note the number of grand jurors present for every session, Burke seized on that as proof something is awry.

"We're not very comfortable with the reliability of the transcript," he said.

Pagliuca chimed in that he has questions about how the grand jury was selected and what the jurors were told during questioning. He also noted "structural problems" with the indictment due to count one being amended.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Barney Iuppa said he would review the documents before deciding whether they would be released to the defense.

Ultimately, the hearing ended the same as before — postponement. They'll be back in court March 5 at which time Iuppa expects the attorneys to know how much time is needed for file motions and will set a motions hearing.

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