Judge Denies Scanlon’s Attempt to Change Plea

Posted November 30, 2010 at 3:47pm

A federal judge on Tuesday declined a request by Michael Scanlon to change his guilty plea in a case linked to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Associated Press reported.

Scanlon pleaded guilty in November 2005 to one count of conspiracy to violate federal laws including bribery, mail or wire fraud, and honest services fraud. He had admitted to colluding with Abramoff to overbill American Indian tribes for services.

But Scanlon had asked to strike the portion of his plea tied to the public corruption statute known as honest services law, following a recent Supreme Court decision that restricted the use of the law to cases that involve a fiduciary relationship, such as a public official and constituent.

U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled Tuesday that Scanlon’s kickback scheme was still in violation of the honest services law. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 21.

Jennifer Yachnin contributed to this report.