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Worley trial gets delayed for month

By Phillip Rawls
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — A judge Wednesday postponed the criminal trial of former Secretary of State Nancy Worley until next month to give her lawyers more time to review documents turned over by prosecutors.

Worley had been scheduled to go on trial Monday on charges accusing her of using her office in violation of state election laws. But during a status conference Wednesday, Circuit Judge Truman Hobbs Jr. delayed the trial until July 9.

Worley was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury in March on five misdemeanor and five felony charges. The charges, resulting from an investigation by Attorney General Troy King's office, accuse Worley of soliciting support from five of her
employees during her unsuccessful re-election campaign last year.

Worley, who did not attend the status conference with her lawyers, has pleaded not guilty.

Defense lawyer James Anderson told the judge Wednesday that the attorney general's office turned over three computer discs last week that contain about 35,000 e-mails from Worley's computer in the secretary of state's office.

He said her defense team needs more time to review them, especially after one of the discs proved difficult to open.

"We just need time to look over it," Anderson said.

Assistant Attorney General Ben Baxley told the judge that the attorney general's office had worked with Worley's lawyers
to correct the technical problem, but he did not object to a delay.


Outside the courtroom, Anderson said the evidence turned over by the attorney general's office includes more than e-mails and campaign material sent to employees.

He said it includes a transcript of a state computer technician who was wired for sound when he went into Worley's office on Jan. 11, her next-to-last work day in office, to discuss discontinuing her state e-mail service.

Anderson said the technician's "bug" picked up comments from others going in and out of Worley's office as she wrapped up her term, but the transcript is mostly people exchanging pleasantries and Worley chatting with the technician.

"I don't think there is anything to it," he said.

After leaving office in January, Worley stated publicly that her Capitol office had been bugged, and she said she would go into details about it in a book she planned to write. Worley formerly taught high school in Decatur.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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