Prosecutor winds up Corporex case

Friday, December 4, 1998

The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON -- The grand jury examining whether Corporex Cos. Chairman Bill Butler went too far to win Kenton County construction projects will finish its work today.

Assistant Attorney General Hydee Hawkins, the prosecutor in the case, confirmed that the proceedings would finish today after Thursday's half-day of testimony.

That means the grand jury likely will decide whether to indict Mr. Butler over his actions in winning the competition to build a courthouse and parking garage.

The attorney general's office has been investigating for months to see whether Mr. Butler violated any laws in winning the contracts for the $36 million projects.

Mr. Butler and his attorneys have said the bidders' proposals were public records available to anyone once they were unveiled April 2, 1996.

Clyde Middleton, the county judge-executive at the time, pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct for showing competitors' bids to Mr. Butler.

In doing so, he testified he knew that parts of the bids were confidential when he allowed Mr. Butler to see them at his home the night they were opened.

The grand jury heard for three hours Thursday from Corporex Senior Vice President Tom Banta. After testifying, he declined to comment on what he told the jurors.

He also testified for an hour on Tuesday.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm done," he said Thursday.

Those expected to testify today include county architect Rob Thrun, Fiscal Court Clerk Carol Brockell and County Attorney Garry Edmondson.

Mr. Edmondson testified last month for almost two hours before the grand jury. He said Thursday that he's been asked to talk about inconsistencies in Mr. Butler's testimony in a civil case about the bidding.

The county is suing Corporex and Mr. Butler to recoup an $850,000 settlement paid to the two losing bidders.

Mr. Butler told of the meeting with Mr. Middleton during a deposition Dec. 2, 1997. The developer said he wasn't sure if he took any notes. Later, on May 20, 1998, Mr. Butler in another deposition said he made notes about the bids at Mr. Middleton's home, but that to the best of his recollection did not take them with him.

Then, six days later, Mr. Butler signed an affidavit saying Mr. Middleton gave him the bids that night, and they were copied and returned to the judge-executive's office the following day.

Local Headlines For Friday, December 4, 1998

$1.8M in state budget for Clermont projects
2nd arson stuns school
Boehner says he'll vote to impeach
Church will rebuild after fire
Cincy man is co-chief for Taft
City says officer who took photos didn't break law
County says key phrase omitted in Chiquita case
Downtown detours this weekend
Election financing cut from inquiry
Fingerprints from Miami analyzed
Fox blasts custody decision against grandmother
Gambling review dropped
Governor's term: 12 days
Human rights work called unfinished
Judges to seek re-election
Klan says new cross will be sturdier
Ky. shooting suspect nabbed
Liberty Twp. fights annexation
Lopez-Cobos asks to bow out
Man under stay-away order kills girlfriend, self
N.Ky. schools improve on tests
Newport picks home-grown city manager
Obstacles stall drug program
Officer, motorist critical
Panel: Get tougher on crime
Parents lose 2 sons in 2 days
Prosecution: Former firefighter could be serial rapist
Prosecutor winds up Corporex case
Schools risk loss of property
Schools tested, not kids
Stick it to the Klan: Help those they hate
Teens report less smoking, drinking, drugs
Test trends, facts
Trucks can't duck police
Voinovich wary of move to cut taxes
Warrior mania moves north today
Winton Woods to get athletic building
Women's health conference peers into next century