Pete Kott and Vic Kohring get to stay free at least until the government completes its review of documents and turning over evidence that the new prosecution team decides it should have turned over earlier.
At back-to-back hearings this morning, District Court Judge John Sedwick ordered that the government meet the deadlines it offered and finish providing that additional discovery no later than July 31. Both the government and the defense must provide the court status reports no later than August 31.
The government's table featured three new prosecutors: James Trusty from the Justice Department’s Gang Unit based in the Washington, D.C. area; Peter Koski from the Washington, D.C.-based Public Integrity Section of the Justice Department; and Karen Loeffler, Acting U.S. Attorney for Alaska.
Loeffler announced at the beginning of the hearing that her office’s recusal has been vacated, which means that the Anchorage-based office of federal prosecutors can now participate in the cases arising from the federal probe into Alaska public corruption. Loeffler did not offer a reason for the lifting of the recusal, but logic would suggest that the Department of Justice had decided that the ending of the prosecution of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens—as well as his leaving office—means that there was no reason to keep the local federal prosecutors’ office from working on those cases.
Both ex-State Reps. Kott (R.-Eagle River) and Kohring (R.-Wasilla) attended this morning’s hearings. Kohring had gotten a substantial haircut in the few days since his release from custody, but it must be said that if he lost 47 pounds in prison—as he told the Anchorage Daily News—it was hard to tell from his appearance. Kohring was in a nice suit, so maybe men’s suits hide weight loss as well as weight gain.