• State rests case in ex-Expressway Authority board member bribery trial


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - The state rested its case Tuesday afternoon in the trial of the former Expressway Authority board member Scott Batterson, who is accused of bribery.

    The state is attempting to prove that Batterson was planning to offer the Expressway Authority's general engineering contract to a vendor in exchange for getting the vendor to hire who Batterson wanted as subcontractors.

    WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said from the evidence the state presented he's not so sure the trial should even go to the jury.

    The judge said she's reserving ruling on whether to throw out the case.

    The state's case centered on the testimony of Expressway Authority vendor Mark Callahan, who testified that he believed Batterson offered him a $5 million a year contract with the agency in order to get Batterson's hand-chosen subcontractors hired.

    "As he was telling me that I sensed a quid pro quo that's for sure," said Callahan. "You want a contract, then put these people on the team."

    Sheaffer said Callahan's perception seems to be the only evidence that Batterson allegedly broke the law.

    "There's no evidence that Batterson's conversation with this witness was untoward or based upon some illegal motivation. The state failed to present that evidence to this jury," said Sheaffer.

    The defense argued that same point when asking the judge to throw out the case after the state rested.

    The judge is expected to rule Wednesday morning.

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    State rests case in ex-Expressway Authority board member bribery trial