Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum recently secured an acquittal for their client who was accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars to Romain Dallemand, an ex -superintendent of Bibb County’s public schools who was a key government witness in a federal money laundering and bribery trial.
Two weeks ago, attorney Seth D. Kirschenbaum defended Cliffard D. Whitby, former chairman of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority, in court. Mr. Kirschenbaum explained to jurors that Dallemand fabricated a story about bribes and secret meetings with Whitby and prominent Tallahassee, Florida, attorney Harold M. Knowles. Attorney Kirschenbaum detailed how Dallemand tried to save himself when the FBI and IRS began to question him about his finances.
Speaking about Dallemand’s accusations against his client, Mr. Kirschenbaum said,“ The government’s case is built on quicksand, the quicksand of Romain Dallemand’s lies.” He then urged jurors to say, “‘No thank you’ to Romain Dallemand’s Kool-Aid.” In fact, attorney Kirschenbaum showed the jury a container of tropical punch-flavored Kool-Aid and said, “Set these two men free.”
Three hours later the jury rendered a verdict of not-guilty as Whitby clutched his wife’s hand and two dozen supports sobbed in relief.
Speaking about the verdict, Whitby said, “Justice has been served…I understand the prosecutors had a job to do and I appreciate they had to see justice done. But in the end, I’m just very fortunate, very happy.”
According to Whitby, the most difficult part of the whole ordeal was having to “just sit there and not be able to respond.” However, he also added, “But as you can see, this legal team responded and spoke for me.”
Had jurors found Whitby guilty of the bribery and money laundering charges, he could have been sentenced to a maximum of 75 years in prison.
Addressing a crowd outside of the courthouse, Whitby said, “My wife and I, we love our hometown. We love Macon and we’re gonna do everything we can to help facilitate the healing process. This community has been split and divided. We want to do everything we can. We love our community. We want to play the part and help the healing process.” To the delight of the crowd, Whitby added, “the jury did not drink the Kool-Aid.”
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