Judge to Consider Punishment for Rubashkin's Juror Contacts

Caption: Sholom Rubashkin, former manager and son of the owner of the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, walks away from the Federal Courthouse with his wife, Leah Rubashkin, left, in Cedar Rapids after his initial appearance on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. Rubashkin faces federal charges of conspiracy to harbor illegal aliens for financial gain, aiding and abetting document fraud and aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft, according to documents filed in the case.


By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A judge will consider whether to sanction former attorneys for Sholom Rubashkin for contacting jurors after the verdict that landed the former kosher slaughterhouse executive in prison.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade says the juror contacts violated a rule because they were done without permission. She'll decide Tuesday how to handle them.

Des Moines attorney Guy Cook has apologized for having an associate interview some jurors after the verdict in 2009. He says he believed Reade authorized the contacts when she told jurors they could speak with anyone or no one.

Kansas City attorney James Wyrsch authorized private investigators to contact jurors last month. In one case, Rubashkin's daughter showed up at a juror's home. Prosecutors say that was harassment.

Wyrsch said Monday he's decided against representing Rubashkin on appeal.
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