Listen to audio of the argument here:
On October 18, 2018, Jerry Madden presented oral argument on behalf of Tamela M. Lee in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in an appeal which presents issues of first impression in the Sixth Circuit. Ms. Lee is a former Summit County (Ohio) Council member who was convicted of “honest services” fraud and Hobbs Act extortion. She was indicted prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, 136 S. Ct. 2355 (2016) but tried after the McDonnell decision.
In McDonnell, the Supreme Court dramatically narrowed the definition of what constitutes an “official act” that could give rise to criminal liability of a public official. Governor McDonnell of Virginia was convicted for accepting $175,000 in loans, gifts and, other benefits from a constituent, Jonnie Williams, related to Williams’s efforts to have Virginia universities recognize that a supplement he was marketing, called Anatabloc, had health benefits and to have the state’s employee health plans cover the cost of purchasing the supplement. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed McDonnell’s conviction concluding that McDonnell committed an “official act,” thereby triggering criminal liability, when he hosted a dinner at the Governor’s Mansion in which Williams and relevant... [Read more...]