MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA - The lead prosecutor in the federal bingo corruption case has resigned.
Justin Shur filed his request to withdraw on Tuesday. In those court documents, he asks United States District Judge Myron Thompson to grant his request because he no longer works for the United States Department of Justice. According to those court records, Shur is now working for a private law practice; therefore he has no further connection with the corruption case.
Shur was deputy chief of the Public Integrity Section, a part of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division. He took over as lead prosecutor for the case in March 2011. Until then Senior Deputy Chief Peter Ainsworth, also of the Public Integrity Section, was taking the lead. A judge removed him from the case, and Shur was selected as the replacement.
The next lead prosecutor will be the third for this case. Shur was heading the prosecution during the first trial in June 2011. That's when a jury acquitted two defendants, Alabama State Senator Quinton Ross and lobbyist Bob Geddie, of all charges. However, the jury couldn't agree on verdicts for the remaining seven defendants, forcing Judge Thompson to declare a mistrial.
Shur's decision to resign comes less than two weeks before jury selection is set to start for the retrial in Montgomery. It's scheduled for Monday, January 30th.
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