Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Baggett resigns alderman’s seat

North Little Rock alderman Sam Baggett resigned his seat Monday morning, effective immediately.

Baggett was convicted of three federal felonies Friday night after a trial of nearly two weeks. Baggett was acquitted on three other charges.

All six charges were related to his former role as a federally licensed firearms dealer and his involvement with George Wylie Thompson of Cabot, who was convicted on eight counts.

Baggett was elected to the City Council in November 2008 after a runoff election. A little more than two years remain in the term.

In the letter dated Sunday and delivered to the city clerk’s office by Mayor Patrick Hays today, Baggett said his immediate resignation was “so my position can be filled.”
Attorney Jason Carter said the preference is for a special election to fill the seat, but because of statutory requirements such as the election happening on the second Tuesday of the month, that could take some time.

“March or April, maybe May,” Carter said. “It will have to be [addressed] at City Council and then go to the public with the filing requirements” and candidates would need time to campaign.

The filing deadline for agenda items for next week’s City Council meeting is Tuesday and legislation could be submitted as soon as then for other aldermen to address Dec. 27.

In his letter, Baggett, who faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 fine, said he was going to appeal the conviction.
“I still maintain my innocence,” Baggett wrote. “I will be appealing the result of the trial, contesting the denial of severance from trial with my co-defendant” and also because Thompson refused to testify.

“I am confident in a successful result on appeal,” Baggett wrote. “But, that will take a year, and [I} want North Little Rock government to operate efficiently for the good of the people.”

Baggett had served on the City Council for nearly a full year since he was indicted in December 2009.

He is the second North Little Rock alderman to resign in connection with activities with Thompson. Cary Gaines, who pleaded guilty earlier this month on a single federal felony charge of bid rigging, resigned in November 2009, a little more than two weeks before he was named in an indictment in December.
Gaines’ guilty plea frees Gaines from a scheduled Feb. 1 trial with Thompson, who is alleged to have connections with the Colombo crime family.



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