AP NEWS

Judge denies plea withdrawal from former Oregon official

March 7, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A judge has denied a request from a former Oregon Department of Energy official to withdraw his guilty plea to accepting kickbacks to help arrange the sale of state energy tax credits.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Joe Colello pleaded guilty in June to racketeering, receiving bribes, aggravated theft, tax evasion and official misconduct charges.

Colello, who managed tax credit sales for the department, was accused of accepting nearly $300,000 in bribes from Seattle-based energy consultant Martin Shain.

Colello is scheduled to be sentenced in early April. Under his original plea deal, Colello had agreed to five years in prison, three years’ probation and restitution.

Colello’s lawyer Mark Geiger says the plea agreement is still in place, and they’re working to resolve the related federal case before state sentencing.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com

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