Anthony Burfoot’s attorney confident about public corruption trial

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Andrew Sacks walked out of Norfolk Federal Court Tuesday more confident than ever.

“The truth is coming through,” Sacks said.

Sacks, Anthony Burfoot’s attorney, says his witnesses will show the jury that his client is innocent. Prosecutors say Burfoot took more than $400,000 in gifts and in return, he promised favors, such as making sure Tivest Construction got developing projects in Broad Creek.

“If these theories of the government were true, there should be evidence that Mr. Burfoot should be picking these people [developers] and lobbying for them to be picked,” Sacks added. “There is no evidence of that.”

The Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority (NRHA) was responsible for picking developers for Broad Creek. Current NRHA Executive Director John Kownack testified Burfoot never influenced the decision making process.

“Anthony Burfoot did not have any role in who would get lots and houses,” Kownack said.

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Prosecutors contend Burfoot was so involved in the Broad Creek project that all decisions had to go through him. They say Burfoot would decide brick color, style of mailboxes and landscaping. The government believes he would decide who developed the properties, too.

“Official after official made it clear,” Sacks added. “The [NRHA] executive director now and the past executive director say that Anthony Burfoot had nothing to do with the award of who the builder was going to be.”

Prosecutors did turn to emails sent to and from NRHA members that show Burfoot was a part of the process. One email questioned how Burfoot was trying to control how and when properties were being sold and called it a dangerous position.

“That is concerning,” said former NRHA Executive Director Shurl Montgomery.

Bruce Gordon, who was once part owner of Tivest, also took the stand. He testified that Burfoot was never a silent partner of the company.

When Gordon faced cross examination, he said he heard from Tivest partner Recardo Lewis that Burfoot was a part of Tivest. Gordon said Lewis was “upset” when Burfoot wanted $250,000 to leave the company.

“He heard that from a witness [Lewis] who unfortunately has a felony record and whose testimony in this trial I do not think was credible,” Sacks added. “If that’s the source people are relying on, then we are not concerned.”

Lewis went onto say he could see how Burfoot was a part by “the amount of work Tivest was doing.”

Sacks tells 10 On Your Side he is still not sure if Burfoot will take the stand. That decision will be made in the next couple of days.

“At this point, we have nothing to hide or fear,” Sacks said. “This is a man who, I think, wants to tell his story and wants the jury to hear it.”