Whitesburg KY

Prosecution done in bid-rigging case


An attorney began his defense of former Kentucky Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert by claiming a key prosecution witness “lied from the witness stand” in the federal corruption trial of Nighbert and prominent road contractor Leonard Lawson.

Nighbert’s lawyer, Kent Wicker, gave his opening statement Tuesday afternoon after the prosecution rested its case. He took aim at Jim Rummage, who testified last week that Nighbert ordered him to deliver confi- dential project estimates to Lawson to help inform his highway bids.

Also Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Karl Forester dismissed one of the bribery counts against Lawson and Nighbert due to a lack of evidence. They still face charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and additional bribery allegations.

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