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Appeals Court Upholds Misconduct Finding Against Federal Prosecutor

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(CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – A federal appeals court has now upheld what a federal judge in Chicago concluded almost two years ago: that a lawyer in U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald’s office committed prosecutorial misconduct.

It is a win for a Chicago man who was convicted of drug conspiracy in Cabrini-Green.

Federal Judge Joan Lefkow found two years ago that a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office committed prosecutorial misconduct by allowing a government witness to bring false testimony.

And now a federal appeals court has agreed.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller reports

Leonard Goodman is the attorney representing the Chicago man, Brian Wilbourn.

Goodman says the government witness had testified that Wilbourn was present when the drug plot was hatched.

“The problem was that Brian was in jail during that entire time and it was physically impossible for him to ever set foot in that penthouse apartment,” Goodman said. “And when we confronted the witness with the fact that Brian was in jail, the government lawyer first told the jury that this wasn’t true. Then later at trial, they changed their story and told the jury that the witness told the truth, but just got confused about dates.”

The judge – and now the appellate court – did not buy that argument.

It is unclear at this point whether the U.S. Attorney’s office will appeal; Newsradio 780 has tried to contact a spokesman.

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