CLEVELAND -- The government has asked U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich to reassign the case of a Virginia engineer accused of conspiring to bribe imprisoned ex-congressman James A. Traficant Jr.
Judge Aldrich took over the case of Richard E. Detore on Friday after U.S. District Judge Lesley Brooks Wells recused herself. Detore once served as chief operating officer at USAerospace Group in Manassas, Va., owned by J.J. Cafaro of Liberty. Judge Wells' husband is a partner at a law firm that once performed legal work on behalf of USAG.
Later Friday, the government filed a motion asking that Detore's case be assigned to U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. The government said the case should go to Judge Oliver because it is related to a case against Cafaro, over which Oliver presides.
Cafaro is scheduled for sentencing Wednesday by Judge Oliver. He pleaded guilty in May 2001 to providing Traficant with an illegal gratuity. Detore is accused of taking part in Cafaro's efforts to financially reward Traficant for Traficant's promotion of USAG technology with federal agencies.
Traficant is serving eight years in prison on racketeering, bribery, obstruction of justice and tax evasion convictions. Judge Wells presided over his trial in April and sentencing July 30.