Local Politics

Judge orders release of ex-lottery commissioner

Posted June 29, 2010

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— A judge on Tuesday ordered a former North Carolina lottery commissioner convicted of five counts of the honest services law released from a Georgia prison.

U.S. District Judge James Dever III said Kevin Geddings should be set free as he seeks to have his 2006 conviction vacated. The decision came just hours after prosecutors said Geddings should be released.

Geddings was found guilty of honest services mail fraud for not disclosing his financial ties to a company that was expected to bid for North Carolina's lottery business. In May 2007, he was sentenced to four years in federal prison. The U.S. Supreme Court last week struck down parts of that law. It ruled that criminal convictions are only valid in cases if bribes or kickbacks are involved, and not merely conflicts of interest.

"We are gratified, first of all, that the Supreme Court has decided we were right all along about that what Mr. Geddings did is not honest services mail fraud," Geddings' attorney' Jonathan Edelstein said.

"We are gratified that the government has agreed that he'd entitled to release. We are gratified that the court has acted so quickly in directing him to be released, and I intend to waste no time, once he is out of prison, filing a motion to vacate his conviction and to dismiss the charges once and for all," Edelstein said.

Prosecutors revisited Geddings' conviction following last week's Supreme Court decision. The law does not cover Geddings' dealings, prosecutors said.

"Thus, the Government concedes that Geddings is entitled to have his conviction vacated," they wrote in a court filing.

Geddings, a former lottery commissioner, is at a federal prison in Jesup, Ga. He has a December release date, although he is scheduled to move to a halfway house in September.

A spokeswoman at the U.S. attorney's office in Raleigh declined comment.

11 Comments

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  • darkrmQT Jun 30, 2010

    This makes me want to throw up!

  • wayneboyd Jun 30, 2010

    I don't blame the spokeswoman I'd keep my mouth shut too, after all what possible excuse could be made for such an action.
    Maybe the court will require we taxpayers to pay him for the time he was 'unjustly" incarserated and give him a top job on the NCEL as an additional reward.
    I ceased to play it a while back and I believe anyone living in North Carolina that wastes their money on the lottery is a fool.

  • UNCfuturealumi Jun 30, 2010

    Free everyone then..clean the records of the tarnished highway patrol, all the others that the state if paying to have convicted, like Easley, both of them, tell the world that the law is all wrong and we are cleaning our slates..

  • Tax Man Jun 30, 2010

    NC needs to add a law to prevent this from happening in the future. These self-dealing politicians need to be locked up - maybe congress needs to amend the law at the federal level to include these types of crimes! At least this guy served most of his sentence and would be released soon anyway! Clearly not an innocent person.

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Jun 30, 2010

    Good for him.

    Do some people only think in terms of what is legal or illegal? Are honesty, ethics, integrity just for chumps?

  • clickhere Jun 30, 2010

    It was actually the US Supreme Court that made the decision that precipitated this ruling, not Dever, so, ContinuityMan, it's not a Democrat thing. I suppose all judge rulings need to be tied to a particular party given your statement, which I totally disagree with. I agree with the other comments, Geddings was rightly imprisoned, but he served most of his time and no money was lost or favors given - he was caught before any of that could happen.

  • 5Rs Jun 30, 2010

    Does this mean that the Easley lackey up on 50 charges will also get off? By the way, why has that case disappeared from the news? Seems like it is time for an update.

  • JustAGuyInNC Jun 30, 2010

    hmmm...he was the commissioner of the state lottery. He was attempting to funnel business to a company in which he has a vested interest. Mayne, not a felony anymore - but definitely not right! It definitely should be illegal...but at least he paid his dues so to speak.

  • ContinuityMan Jun 30, 2010

    Dever is a Clinton appointee. Again, Democrats taking care of their own.

  • beachboater Jun 30, 2010

    I don't know about that Sugarplum. I vaguely remember the story, but I certainly don't remember the name.

    Disclosure is a big deal in government. He should have lost his job regardless.

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