Augusta, Ga (WJBF) – Suspended commissioner Sammie Sias came to federal court to mount a defense of the charges he is facing, laughing off questions about not going to trial.
“Commissioner any thoughts this morning, are you going to plea, Sias laughs”.
On August 8th of 2019 Agents raided Sias home in search of evidence, questioning him on tape for three hours.
His attorneys making a motion to allow some of those statements he made during the raid to be entered as evidence during the trial.
But The court today ruling the exculpatory statements Sias made to the FBI, will not be allowed as evidence.
The US attorneys making the case that Sias only wanted the statements in to avoid testifying on his own behalf and facing cross examination.
Sias is also accused is destroying documents concerning the use of city sales tax money at the Jamestown Community Center.
In court US attorneys said Sias destroyed computer files labeled with names like SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) document.
The court ruling against Sias attorneys who wanted the government to be prevented from introducing SPLOST evidence at trial.
Saying Sias has not been charged with any crime concerning the misuse or stealing of SPLOST money from Jamestown.
Sias has maintained his innocence of stealing sales tax money, but the case against him is what he allegedly did after the federal government began investigating.
The trial is scheduled to begin July 26th with jury selection and opening arguments -on that day-.
US attorneys in court say they expect their case to last two to two and a half days. Defense lawyers say their case will be about the same.