Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Catch-Up I


A number of items to catch up on, and I might not get all of them done today:

1. Although Vic Kohring’s appearance at last week's hearing did not make him look like he had lost 47 pounds in prison as he had claimed, the former state legislator was freshly barbered after showing up in Alaska with very shaggy locks. The Anchorage Daily News reported that “Kohring, notorious for claiming poverty, said he mooched a free haircut this week from a friend at the Beehive Beauty Shop in Wasilla, the same place that helped Sarah Palin develop her ‘updo.’” Kohring reportedly claimed in a TV appearance—apparently jokingly—that his styling had removed 15 pounds of hair.

2. The chief and principal deputy chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section—the unit that ran the investigation into Alaska public corruption—have been reassigned to other duties. The Washington Post reported last week that William Welch and Brenda Morris “have been moved into other roles” following the post-trial collapse of the case against U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens. The messy ending of the case against Ted Stevens has of course triggered two probes into the conduct of several prosecutors—including Welch and Morris, who led the government lawyers in the Stevens trial—and a review of other cases brought in the underlying “POLAR PEN” investigation into Alaska public corruption. That review led to the government’s discovery of evidence that should have been shared earlier with ex-State Reps. Kohring (R.-Wasilla) and Pete Kott (R.-Eagle River), and Kohring and Kott are free while the Justice Department continues to examine its files to see if other evidence should have been produced as well before the two former legislators' trials.

More tomorrow.

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