SANFORD, Fla. (AP) - Some of Florida's top political and law enforcement leaders are named as defense witnesses for a Jacksonville lawyer charged with being the mastermind behind a veterans' charity that prosecutors say was actually a gambling operation.
Kelly Mathis' witness list filed Tuesday includes former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former state Agricultural Commissioner Charles Bronson, former Florida Democratic Party chair Scott Maddox and a several prosecutors and sheriffs.
Mathis' defense attorney says the politicians and law enforcement officials are listed because they had analyzed the law which he says shows that his client did nothing wrong.
The filing came on the same day that the 57 defendants charged with running the gambling operation had the arraignment before a judge. The defendants had earlier entered written not guilty pleas and weren't present in court.
Editors Note: Because of an AP error, an earlier version of the story said the defendants had entered guilty pleas.
MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press