Jury Seated in Rep. Tucker’s Trial on Extortion Charges


A jury was seated Thursday in the federal extortion trial of Rep. Walter Tucker III, who allegedly took bribes from firms hoping to win contracts in Compton while he was the city’s mayor.

Opening statements are expected to begin today. Prosecutors expect testimony in the case to take six to eight weeks.

The 38-year-old Democrat has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of extorting $37,500 and demanding $250,000 more from two waste disposal firms courting the former mayor. Tucker also faces two counts of tax evasion.


If convicted, Tucker faces up to 10 years in prison on each extortion count and expulsion from Congress, where he represents California’s 37th District, which includes Compton.

The charges stem from the period when Tucker was mayor of Compton in 1991-92. Along with former Compton City Councilwoman Patricia Moore, Tucker allegedly solicited bribes from a company that wanted to build a waste-to-energy trash incinerator in Compton.

Moore, who pleaded not guilty Monday to 23 counts of extortion and two counts of tax evasion, has a Jan. 16 trial date.

Moore and her attorney, Ollie Manago, have alleged that the counts against her and Tucker stem from an FBI plot to oust prominent black leaders. Moore and Manago further allege that the government has been trying to sabotage her case by tapping their phone lines and tampering with their mail.