A former special assistant to the secretary of the Department of Public Lands who was convicted of bribery has asked the federal court for his release pending appeal.
Franz Benjamin Reksid filed Tuesday a motion for release while his appeal remains pending with the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Jurors found Reksid guilty of one count of bribery in connection with a Brownsfield program that receives federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was sentenced by U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Nov. 9 to an 18-month prison term followed by two years supervised release.
Reksid currently remains free while waiting for the U.S. Marshals Service to name a federal facility where he will serve his sentence.
According to Reksid's lawyer, Mark B. Hanson, his client is not a flight risk, not a danger to the community, and the defendant's appeal and the motion for his release are not to intended to delay. Reksid, his lawyer said, has and will present issues to the Ninth Circuit that are “substantial” in nature, fairly debatable, and that would require reversal or resentencing if Reksid prevails some or all of the issues presented.
Reksid filed his request to remain free pending appeal on Nov. 20.
Reksid was allowed to travel unescorted more than once outside the Commonwealth during the trial of his case. In all these occasions, his lawyer said Reksid returned to Saipan voluntarily after all his medical trips in Hawaii.