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Friday, July 28, 2006

Zimmermann Trial Begins Monday

Former Councilman Dean Zimmermann's trial begins Monday, July 31st.

Here's the indictment :

Friday, January 18, 2006
 
Minneapolis  - Former Minneapolis City Council Member Gary Dean Zimmermann was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of accepting and soliciting money and other things of value in connection with his official capacity as a member of the City Council and its Committee on Zoning and Planning.

Gary Dean Zimmermann, age 62, from Minneapolis, was charged with three counts of accepting cash and one count of soliciting property, a retaining wall, from people with business before the City.

According to the indictment, in June 2005, Zimmermann allegedly accepted $5,000 from the developer of Chicago Commons, a condominium and retail complex in Minneapolis , who was seeking a change in the complex’s zoning. On two other occasions in August 2005, Zimmermann took $1,200 and $1,000 in cash from the same developer in exchange for assistance with any zoning issues that would arise regarding the development of a retail mall for members of the Minneapolis Somali-American community.

The grand jury also alleged that in October 2004, Zimmermann received an email from the management of the Powderhorn Residents Group requesting Zimmermann’s signature on certificates of completion and release of forfeiture for the newly constructed Franklin Station Townhomes.   Zimmermann allegedly responded by agreeing to do so but then asking the Residents Group to construct, at no charge, a retaining wall on the property of his former partner.  When the Residents Group declined, Zimmermann then asked that the materials for the wall be given to him free of charge.
    
If convicted, Zimmermann faces a maximum potential penalty of ten years in prison and/or a $250,000 fine on each count of the indictment.  Any sentence would be determined by a judge.

The case is the result of an ongoing investigation by Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John Docherty.


Jury selection begins Monday morning. If that goes quickly, there may be opening statements in the afternoon.

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