Reggie Fullwood plans to file motion to dismiss federal suit

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During a pre-trial conference in Jacksonville Tuesday, state Rep. Reggie Fullwood got some very welcome news from a federal judge, who issued an order “limiting the government’s ability to suggest that the State of Florida was a victim.”

“At the July 19, 2016 hearing, following a lengthy discussion with counsel as to the government’s theory of this case, the government agreed that: the sole victims of the scheme or artifice to defraud alleged in the Indictment are the campaign dontributors, and that absent evidence of any pecuniary loss to the State of Florida, the government cannot and will not argue that the State of Florida is an independent legal victim of the scheme to defraud,” asserted Judge Marcia Morales Howard.

A subsequent press release from Fullwood bore the following title: “FULLWOOD TEAM PLANS TO FILE MOTION TO DISMISS: Judge Rules in Favor of the Defense and Fullwood Campaign Moves Forward.”

This contention — that the state was victimized — is at the heart of the case, regarding the 14 federal counts Fullwood faces, as campaign contributors have yet to allege that they have been defrauded.

Ten of those counts are for wire fraud, related to using $65,000 of campaign funds for personal purposes. The other four are related to failure to file federal tax returns.

Fullwood has maintained he would be exonerated by the judicial process and, in a written statement, he expressed confidence to that end.

“I am very thankful that I have been able to have a forum to show why I am not guilty of the charges that were presented against me,” said Fullwood. “As the process continues, I will continue to do the work that I was elected to do. I am focused on winning this election so I can go back to Tallahassee to finish the work we started.”

Fullwood, the incumbent in Jacksonville’s House District 13, faces a competitive Democratic primary. He will be rolling out new endorsements and fundraising going forward, with the Democratic party set to rally around the incumbent.

If found guilty of all 14 counts, Fullwood would face $3.9 million in fines and 204 years in prison. He doesn’t seem worried, though.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski



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