Rigas Jury Selection Done2/26/2004 7:51 AM Eastern
New York -- Jury selection in the federal fraud trial of four former Adelphia Communications Corp. executives was completed Thursday, with a panel consisting of nine women and three men.
Former Adelphia chairman John Rigas, his sons -- former chief financial officer Timothy Rigas and former executive vice president Michael Rigas -- and former VP and assistant treasurer Michael Mulcahey were charged with 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. All four men have pleaded innocent.
U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Sand and attorneys for both the defense and the prosecution huddled in chambers for about one hour Thursday morning to select the panel out of 53 candidates. Eight alternate jurors also were selected -- four men and four women.
The jury includes two teachers, an accounts-payable clerk at an insurance company, a medical-records clerk and a store manager for personal-care-products retail chain Bath & Body Works.
Alternates include an unemployed computer analyst, a librarian, a call-center manager for Verizon Communications and a 22-year-old woman who was once a cable and Internet customer of Adelphia in Burlington, Vt.
Opening arguments are scheduled to begin Monday at 10 a.m. The trial is expected to last 12 weeks.
John Rigas said he was glad to finally be getting his day in court, but he was nervous about the prospect, as well.
"I’m not looking forward to it," he told reporters outside of the courtroom, adding that he was ready to "see if we can get our life back."
"It’s been two hard years with a lot of stress," John Rigas added. "This is something you would never expect in your life to occur."
Lawyers for the defense and the U.S. Attorney’s Office would not comment on the jury-selection process.
"Certainly, there is no one on this jury we are unhappy with," said Paul Grand, an attorney for Timothy Rigas. "We worked very hard to pick this jury."