Prosecutors begin calling witnesses in trial of Norfolk city treasurer

A courtroom sketch of Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot during his public corruption trial on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Credit: Alba Bragoli
A courtroom sketch of Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot during his public corruption trial on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016. Credit: Alba Bragoli

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Prosecutors began calling witnesses Tuesday in the federal corruption trial of Norfolk City Treasurer Anthony Burfoot.

Lawyers presented opening statements as well.

After an all day process Monday, a jury was seated. The jury is made up of 10 women and six men.

“Frequently it takes multiple days,” said Judge Morgan. “I’m glad we accomplished it in one day.”

The day started out with 48 potential jurors. Attorneys asked the jurors questions, such as if they’ve had any dealings in the past with Burfoot or how much media coverage they’ve seen on the former city councilman and current Norfolk treasurer.

Burfoot was indicted in January on federal corruption and perjury charges, including conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and obtaining property under color of official right.

The Norfolk city treasurer is accused of getting more than $450,000 in kickbacks and bribes when he served as a city councilman.

Document: Government’s brief on case against Burfoot

The potential jurors also were asked if they had an connections to long list of potential witnesses in the case. There are dozens of witnesses and some very high profile names, including former Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, Bruce Smith and well-known Norfolk developer Ronnie Boone.

Back in September, Boone pleaded guilty to bribing city officials — including Burfoot. Boone will likely testify against him during the trial.

Burfoot’s defense has called Boone a liar, saying his claims are completely false.

Document: Subpoenas for Burfoot trial

The trial was initially set to begin in May, but Norfolk Federal Judge Henry Morgan ruled in March to postpone the trial until after the Supreme Court ruled in the corruption of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Federal prosecutors dismissed corruption charges against McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, in September, after the Supreme Court had overturned bribery convictions against the McDonnells.

Document discloses who may testify on Anthony Burfoot’s behalf

The trial is expected to take almost a month. 10 On Your Side’s Jason Marks will have full coverage of the trial on air and online.