Attorney seeks delay in client’s Enterasys retrial

Jerry Shanahan, a former Enterasys Networks executive who had previously asked that securities fraud charges against him be dropped due to the lack of a speedy trial, is asking that his trial be delayed until Sept. 5.

But prosecutors insist that the charges not be dismissed based on whether or not Shanahan received a speedy trial – and they point to what they see as Shanahan’s request to delay the process yet again.

The court originally set a Sept. 5 retrial date several months after a federal jury last December failed to reach a verdict on the charges facing the former Enterasys chief operating officer.

Shanahan was on trial along with four other former executives of the firm, who were charged with conspiring to use accounting tricks to inflate revenue at the time in 2001 when the firm was being spun off from Rochester-based Cabletron Systems. The jury convicted the other defendants, who are scheduled to be sentenced at the end of the month.

Andrew Good, Shanahan’s attorney, had tried to persuade prosecutors not to retry Shanahan, citing a New Hampshire Business Review article that reported that Shanahan would have been acquitted outright if it had not been for one hold-out juror.

It wasn’t until the end of May when prosecutors told Good that they had indeed made a decision to retry Shanahan. Good immediately asked that the charges be dismissed because of the delay, which was causing undue hardship on Shanahan family. Shanahan, a resident of Ireland, said he could not find employment at home or abroad because of the possibility of a trial.

The next day, without explanation, the court set the trial date to July 10.

Good said that date simply didn’t leave enough time to mount an adequate defense. First, Good said, he had several other trials scheduled that couldn’t be delayed. Second, he couldn’t get certified copies of the transcripts, and he would need them, since prosecutors failed to inform him if they would be narrowing the scope of the trial to the one transaction that Shanahan was involved in. Finally, he argued, scheduling a trial shortly after the sentencing of Shanahan’s alleged co-conspirators would result in fresh publicity that could bias a potential jury.

But prosecutors say that, while they didn’t reach a decision on whether to go to trial for six months, they did inform Shanahan’s attorney from the get-go to assume that they would be retrying the case unless they heard otherwise, according to the filing. However, they wouldn’t be able to get to it until July, since the lead counsel from Washington – Colleen A. Conry – had a big securities fraud trial coming up in December. Besides, they argued, this is such a complex case, that the court should waive the speedy trial rules.

In addition to refocusing the case on just one individual, prosecutors also might introduce evidence that wasn’t in the first trial, according to the filing.

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