Federal court - Took kickback from friend’s addiction services program
Cantrell’s corruption conviction upheld
March 30, 2013
A federal judge denied Friday former North Township employee Robert Cantrell’s request to vacate his 2008 honest services conviction.
Cantrell is serving a 78-month sentence for taking a kickback from a friend’s addiction services program that he helped get work with North Township.
Cantrell’s attorneys filed the motion to vacate in February 2012 and argued that his father received ineffective counsel during his jury trial and appeal.
U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano wrote in his opinion, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, that Cantrell has failed to show how new counsel could help to acquit him.
For instance, the motion to vacate argued that Cantrell’s trial attorney, Kevin Milner, opted to not call either Cantrell or former North Township Trustee Greg Cvitkovich, who would have offered testimony to dispute the government’s case.
Lozano notes, however, that Cantrell gave only a general description of what his testimony would be, none of which shows how it would dispute the government’s case. The judge adds that a jury would likely not find Cvitkovich, who was already convicted on public corruption charges by that time, a reliable witness.
Cantrell is scheduled to be released from prison in January 2015.