Judge Refuses to Seal Documents in Senator's Land Fraud Case - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Capitol Hill Corruption

Judge Refuses to Seal Documents in Senator's Land Fraud Case

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- A federal judge in Chattanooga refused to seal court filings in a politically connected land fraud case against state Sen. Jerry Cooper.

The Democrat from Morrison is charged with bank fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy in a borrowing scheme involving the 1999 sale of his lumber mill in Warren County.

U-S District Judge Curtis L. Collier denied a motion by Cooper's attorney to seal documents supporting Cooper's request to move his scheduled November 6th trial from Chattanooga to Winchester. Winchester is in Cooper's Senate district and closer to Warren County.

In denying the request, Collier said "one of the hallmarks of the American legal system is open court proceedings."

The judge returned Cooper's documents filed with the request, saying they are not sensitive enough to warrant deviating from the tradition of open courts.

Cooper's attorney, Jerry Summers of Chattanooga, is asking Collier to move and delay the scheduled trial, saying he needs additional preparation time.

Summers said today he's undecided about his next step in seeking a change of venue.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.