Nighbert, Lawson Enter 'Not Guilty' Pleas

by scrosby on September 12, 2008

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

A federal bid-rigging case involving a high-ranking official of former Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration continues to move forward.

‘Not guilty’ was the plea entered for each of three men indicted in a federal bid-rigging probe of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Attorney Howard Mann represents one of the defendants, former Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert.

“Mr. Nighbert pleaded not guilty today and he did so because he is innocent,” says Mann. “And I think the facts will bear that out at trial, that he is innocent.”

Attorney Larry Mackey represents Lexington highway contractor Leonard Lawson.

“We’re going to launch a vigorous defense and ultimately, my prediction is, a jury’s going to find absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Lawson,” says Mackey.

Also indicted in the probe is Lawson aide, Brian Billings. Trial for the three was set for November 12th in federal district court in Frankfort. The trial is expected to last one to two weeks.

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