Trial Begins For Lobbyist Charged In Kentucky Bribery Case

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a veteran Democratic consultant and lobbyist gave “Christmas presents” to a high-ranking state official to retain a lucrative contract for one of his clients.

James Sullivan is accused of bribery, and his trial began Monday in Lexington. He is one of several people ensnared in a federal bribery investigation that brought down Tim Longmeyer, who was Personnel Cabinet secretary under former Gov. Steve Beshear and the former top aide for Beshear’s son, Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Prosecutor Andy Boone told jurors he would lay out for them a “pay to play” scheme.

But Sullivan’s attorney, Thomas Hectus, says his client is not guilty. He says Sullivan’s payments to Longmeyer were as friends.

Longmeyer is serving a 70-month prison sentence. Prosecutors plan to call him as a witness during the trial.