This afternoon, the jury in the Joann Wiggan perjury trial returned verdicts acquitting the former SBC phone employee of four of the five counts. The jury split 6-6 on the third count, and U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer declared a mistrial on that count. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel A. Saunders issued this statement through a spokesman: ”We are disappointed by the verdict, but of course we accept the jury’s decision. We will consider the evidence related to the unresolved count and will decide in the next few days whether to proceed with the case.” The feds emphasized that the loss of this case has no bearing on the upcoming racketeering and wiretapping trial February 13th against celebrity P.I. thug Anthony Pellicano and others. “The charges against Ms. Wiggan are completely different from those contained in the separate indictment against Anthony Pellicano,” Saunders said. “Today’s verdict does not impact the prosecution or the ongoing investigation of Mr. Pellicano and his associates.”
The verdict comes after Wiggan testified that she did not intentionally lie to a federal grand jury about having contact with a phone company colleague who’s now under indictment for allegedly providing confidential information to Pellicano. The prosecution related to a five-count indictment of Wiggan last February stemming from her grand jury testimony about her contact with SBC field technician Rayford Turner, who’s charged with helping Pellicano place wiretaps. Turner has been indicted with Pellicano on racketeering and wiretapping charges for illegally obtaining confidential SBC customer information.. Two former SBC employees, Teresa Wright and Michele Malkin, have admitted improperly providing confidential SBC information to Turner. But Wiggan has not been charged in the Pellicano wiretapping investigation. Still, SBC fired her after the perjury allegations surfaced. She insisted in court last week that she forgot about accessing her company voice mail or talking to Turner. According to Drew Combs of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, this trial ”has included a parade of telephone company employees and FBI special agents and has provided a glimpse into the government’s case against Pellicano.”
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