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Michael Zucchet, the former San Diego City Councilman convicted and then acquitted (mostly) of corruption charges, said he found out from a reporter that the government was going to continue its push to get him behind bars.

The Union-Tribune’s Kelly Thornton called him Sunday and broke the story the next day that the U.S. Department of Justice had decided to appeal a judge’s surprising decision a year ago that Zucchet was innocent of the majority of corruption charges of which a jury had already convicted him. The Justice Department hadn’t indicated what it planned to do for quite a long time.

Zucchet, like most defendants in criminal cases, didn’t want to say too much about his thoughts on the matter. But he did say he saw a “silver lining” in the news that he would have to keep fighting the charges.

The government’s appeal of Judge Jeffrey Miller’s acquittal will set a precedent. Zucchet said, with confidence, that the precedent would not be the one the government wanted.

“When the Ninth Circuit [Court of Appeals] supports Judge Miller’s ruling, my case will become published case law that will be used to guide future white-collar prosecutions that are similarly void of actual crimes,” Zucchet said.

SCOTT LEWIS

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