Franklin County

Trial of Nighbert, Lawson scheduled for Jan. 11

FRANKFORT — The trial of former Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert and road contractor Leonard Lawson will start on Jan. 11, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Karl Forester, in a recent ruling, denied a motion filed on behalf of Nighbert asking that he be tried separately from Lawson and at a later date.

Nighbert, Lawson and a Lawson employee, Brian Billings, have been charged in connection with a conspiracy to obtain internal state transportation information on contracts that Lawson's companies were set to bid on during former Gov. Ernie Fletcher's administration.

Forester had already ruled that Billings should be tried separately from Nighbert and Lawson.

Nighbert's attorneys also had asked for the trial to be postponed in light of recent rulings regarding evidence in the case.

But Forester, in his Dec. 16 ruling, said that attorneys on the case have had adequate time to prepare for a trial. Further delays "will have a significant impact on the court's calendar," he said.

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