A federal jury today found State Senator Matt McCoy not guilty of extortion charges. Thomas Vasquez accused the Democrat from Des Moines of abusing his political position to obtain money from Vasquez in a business deal.
McCoy defense attorney Monte Brown says he’s not surprised with the quick verdict. Jurors returned their decision just two hours after closing arguments ended. "The key is that (McCoy) didn’t do what they say he did," Brown told Radio Iowa, "and their factual basis was hitched to a story by this Mr. Vasquez and I think we proved that his story was flawed."
During the trial, jurors heard several tape recordings of conversations between Vasquez and McCoy that Vasquez made for the FBI. Brown says, "There was a larger back story that corroborated and made sense of what Matt was saying when he said things on the tapes."
Brown says there were markers that clearly showed that McCoy knew what he was doing and didn’t try to use his position as a lawmaker to demand money to which he wasn’t entitled.