August 9, 1997 |
Gov. Fife Symington's fraud trial went to the jury Friday after a prosecutor portrayed the two-term Republican as a con man who tricked bankers into lending him millions to make himself look like a success in the real estate business. The panel that heard 13 weeks of testimony began its deliberations after U.S. District Judge Roger Strand read them 72 pages of instructions. If convicted on any one of the 21 charges against him, the 51-year-old governor would automatically be removed from office.
July 30, 1997 |
Gov. Fife Symington testified Tuesday that he made numerous mistakes in financial statements he gave to lenders but said he was qualified as a developer to use his own estimates rather than those of appraisers. Symington often answered "I made a mistake" or "I made an error on that" when federal prosecutor David Schindler asked him to explain why he listed incorrect figures for such things as the sale price of his home or omitted outstanding loans.
July 26, 1997 |
Gov. Fife Symington testified in his bank-fraud trial Friday that he never tried to use his office to get concessions on an $818,000 loan and was "absolutely shocked" at a lender's suggestion that he was. A former Valley National Bank vice president testified for the prosecution that Symington was miffed when bank officials refused to renegotiate the loan for a real estate development in 1991, a few months after he became governor.
July 25, 1997 |
With his freedom and political career at stake, Gov. Fife Symington took the stand Thursday to deny charges that he misled lenders to get millions of dollars in loans and used his office to avoid paying them back. Looking relaxed and confident, the second-term Republican repeated firmly, "I did not," when his attorney raised the federal government's accusations point by point.
July 18, 1997 |
Federal prosecutors rested their case against embattled Arizona Gov. Fife Symington with an emotional portrayal of him as a man who refused to listen to his top company executive and treated her badly. Jean Wong, former Symington Co. executive vice president, also portrayed her former boss as a risk-taker who knew his way around a calculator, countering defense assertions that Symington was neither hands-on nor detail-oriented.
June 20, 1997 |
An investigation into a UFO sighting over Phoenix? Surely Gov. Fife Symington couldn't be serious. An aide said yes, the governor, a "Star Trek" buff, was sincere when he ordered a state investigation Thursday into a strange, boomerang-shaped light formation reported over Phoenix on March 13. But several hours later, Symington said it was all a joke. "This just goes to show you guys are entirely too serious," Symington said while his aides laughed heartily.
May 21, 1997 |
Gov. Fife Symington's former secretary testified during his federal trial in Phoenix that she helped him prepare three versions of the same financial statement, and he would pick which version to send to which lender. Assistant U.S. Atty. David Schindler painstakingly led Joyce Riebel, the first witness called by the prosecution, through intricacies of some of Symington's financial statements from the mid-1980s.
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.
May 14, 1997 |
Jury selection began in Phoenix in the federal trial of Gov. Fife Symington, who faces fraud, extortion and perjury charges that could end his career and send him to prison. Questioning of prospective jurors focused on how panelists felt about bankruptcy and about whether it would color their view of Symington; whether the rich and powerful should get a break from the justice system; and labor unions, the apparent target of Symington's alleged extortion.
January 10, 1997 |
A federal grand jury in Phoenix handed down a new indictment against Gov. Fife Symington, amending charges brought against him last year. The 23-count indictment adds two new charges that accuse Symington of making false statements about his finances to lending institutions but drops two earlier counts. The indictment keeps intact 1996 charges that Symington engaged in fraud and extortion and lied under oath to obtain personal and business loans that financed his real estate ventures.