Jury acquits man accused of bribing ex-Leech Lake chairman

St. Paul, Minnesota (AP) 6-08

The man accused of bribing the former chairman of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe has been acquitted.

A federal jury in St. Paul acquitted Craig Keith Potts of 26 counts. A judge dismissed four other counts during the trial.

Peter D. White was chairman of the tribe from February 2003 to June 2004. During May he pleaded guilty to accepting two cash payments of $1,500 each. He had been accused of taking several payments totaling more than $20,000.

Potts was accused of paying those bribes to get business contracts for his check-cashing company, called Cash Systems Inc. The company provided check cashing services to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and the band’s three casinos.

Potts put out a statement saying it was a tremendous relief to be found innocent of the charges.