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Arraignments Held On New Bid-Rigging Indictment

From Kentucky Public Radio's Tony McVeighKentucky road contractor Leonard Lawson, former state Transportation Secretary Bill Nighbert and Lawson employee Brian Billings have been arraigned anew in a federal highway bid-rigging case. All three pleaded not guilty in federal district court in Frankfort.Nighbert attorney Howard Mann opposes the new indictment, which combines the two conspiracy counts of the original indictment.“It appears clear that the re-indictment was designed to circumvent prior court rulings that were detrimental to the government’s case. And that’s more fully outlined in our recent filing,” Mann said.In another development, the judge in the case says he may have to recuse himself because of a potential conflict of interest. Until the matter is resolved, the trio's June 23rd trial date has been set aside.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.