May 17, 1997 |
Arizona Gov. Fife Symington lied to lenders and "abused his office" by trying to extort loan concessions in an attempt to shore up his crumbling real estate empire, a prosecutor charged Friday at the start of the governor's trial on fraud, extortion and perjury charges. Symington's lead attorney, however, told the jury that the governor is "completely innocent of the charges" and blamed Arizona's real estate depression for his client's undoing. In his opening statement, Assistant U.S. Atty.