Bryant back in court today

Disgraced former state Sen. Wayne Bryant is back in court today, this time for an appeal of his 2008 conviction.

Bryant and R. Michael Gallagher, former Dean of UMDNJ’s school of Osteopathic Medicine are appealing their 2008 convictions on various fraud charges.

Attorneys for the two men have filed appeals challenging jury instructions, challenging restitution, alleging insufficient evidence to support their convictions, and alleging the indictment should have been dismissed because of language in grand jury subpoenas.

Bryant was convicted in November 2008 of 11 counts of mail and wire fraud as part of a scheme to obtain a “low-work” job at UMDNJ. Gallagher was convicted of bribery as well as mail and wire fraud.

Bryant was sentenced to four years in federal prison, while Gallagher received 18 months.  Bryant was indicted again last year on charges that he accepted bribes from prominent attorney Eric Wisler of the powerful DeCotiis law firm in exchange for favorable legislative action on Wisler-represented construction projects.

The case was brought by then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who at the time called the conviction the most significant of his tenure.

The trial also served to expose the so-called Christmas Tree items that were doled out by Senate leadership at the time. Bryant back in court today