State Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom's Trial Underway

February 26, 2007

Reported by: Associated Press

More than four years after his indictment, the public corruption trial of Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Bob Odom began today in Baton Rouge.

Odom was indicted in August 2002. Six counts of an original 21-count state indictment remain, accusing the seven-term commissioner of bribery, theft and money laundering.

Prosecutors say Odom traded state contracts for campaign donations and personal gifts and used his campaign cash for personal expenses.

Odom says he has done nothing wrong. His attorneys claim the case is a personal attack to try to force him from office by improperly influencing his re-election chances.

Odom won re-election easily in 2003 with 66 percent of the vote. But he is up again for re-election this fall.