|Rep. William Jefferson loses another round in court|
by Bruce Alpert, The
Tuesday December 30, 2008, 2:31 PM
Outgoing Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, is another step closer to going to trial on federal corruption charges.
A three-judge panel for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., Monday refused to stay the court's earlier ruling -- denying his attorney's request that all but two of 16 charges pending against him be dropped.
Monday's action means, barring an unexpected intervention by either the entire 11-judge 4th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, that the trial judge, T.S. Ellis III, will be free to set a trial date during a status conference on January 15.
By then, Jefferson will be a former member, replaced by the Vietnamese-American lawyer, Republican Anh "Joseph" Cao. Cao is due to be sworn in next Tuesday for the seat held for the last nine terms by Jefferson.