Walker claims political conspiracy

File/Staff
Charles Walker

Former state Sen. Charles Walker alleges a vast conspiracy and poor defense work in a petition to set aside his federal conviction and prison sentence.

 

Mr. Walker also filed a discovery motion in the U.S. District Courthouse on Tuesday. He contends that he can uncover the evidence of a selective, unconstitutional prosecution.

Mr. Walker, 61, is serving a 10-year prison sentence that began in 2005. He was convicted of conspiracy, mail fraud and filing a false tax return for the charity he co-founded, the CSRA Classic.

"There now exists substantial evidence that I, Charles Walker, was the victim of a selective politically motivated prosecution," Mr. Walker wrote in his petition.

The conspiracy allegedly began as early as 2001 when some Augusta-area Republicans and others gathered to develop a strategy to bring Mr. Walker down, he contends.

With two decades in the state House and Senate, Mr. Walker was one of the most powerful politicians in Georgia. He rose to Senate majority leader and was considered a possible gubernatorial candidate.

Mr. Walker alleges that state and national Republican politicians enlisted the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Georgia to investigate him. Even after the federal prosecutor was chastised for abusing his authority in the case of another state Democratic politician, the investigation of Mr. Walker continued. He accuses The Augusta Chronicle's publisher, William S. Morris III, of participating.

He further contends that the lines of his Senate seat were changed in the push to unseat him. The district went from 65 percent majority black to 51 percent. Mr. Walker lost the 2002 election to a political newcomer who is now U.S. District Court Judge Randal Hall.

Mr. Walker regained the Senate seat in the next election. He contends that the timing of his indictment two weeks before the primary election was intentional.

Mr. Walker alleges that his trial lawyers failed him when they didn't seek to have U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen Jr. recused and the trial moved to another location.

Mr. Walker cites revelations that under President George W. Bush the Department of Justice made some hiring and firing decisions for political reasons. Mr. Walker also contends that 80 percent of political corruption cases during that period were pursued against Democrats.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

The back story

Charles Walker became the highest ranking Georgia politician ever convicted. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for 127 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud and filing a false tax return for the charity he co-founded, the CSRA Classic. Mr. Walker was also ordered to pay more than $1 million in fines, fees and restitution.

At his 2005 federal trial, jurors found that Mr. Walker had looted the Classic, defrauded advertisers in his weekly newspaper, illegally kept some campaign funds and hid his ownership of a temp service to gain contracts with two public hospitals. Mr. Walker is scheduled to be released from prison on Sept. 26, 2014.