Federal Judge Price Marshall this week said jury selection would begin July 23 for the trial of a former state senator and Republican party chair Gilbert Baker for bribing then-Judge Mike Maggio with campaign contributions to reduce the verdict in a nursing home negligence case from $5.2 million to $1 million.
The trial is set to begin on July 26.
The order came just short of eight years after a May 13, 2013 lunch meeting Baker had with nursing home executives to line up their financial support for Maggio’s planned campaign to run for Court for Appeals.
The money would soon arrive through multiple PAC contributions with Baker as an intermediary. Maggio would soon reduce the jury’s verdict in a nursing home death case against a home owned by Michael Morton, who was the major contributor to Maggio’s campaign.
Maggio has pleaded guilty to bribery in the scheme and is serving a federal sentence. Baker has pleaded innocent. Morton was never charged, He said his political contributions were above-board and not intended as a quid pro quo. The case against Baker references phone messages between him and Morton and Maggio and others helped by Morton campaign contributions. Maggio’s conviction was based on his communication with Baker.