Ex-jail union boss's lawyer: Star witness was unbelievable

AP News
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Posted: Nov 07, 2017 12:43 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The lawyer for New York City's ex-jail guard union boss says prosecutors want to convict his client in a bribery case by relying on a star witness who can't be believed.

Attorney Paul Shechtman praised the work of longtime union leader Norman Seabrook in a closing argument Tuesday before attacking the credibility of the government's key witness.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kan Nawaday had predicted as much, noting in his closing that the defense spent the trial demeaning the witness. Nawaday argued that the attacks on the government's main witness, Jona Rechnitz (REHK'-nihts), was "noise" designed to distract them. He urged them to "focus only on the facts" to conclude Seabrook accepted a $60,000 bribe to steer $20 million in union funds to a hedge fund.