Saturday, January 05, 2008

Does Farheen Hakeem Really Believe Zimmermann Was "Innocent" and a "Political Prisoner"?

Nearly a year ago, the Green Party candidate for Neva Walker's House seat (16B) Farheen Hakeem signed a letter of support for Gary Dean Zimmermann.

These are some statements from that letter posted by Dave Bicking on David Shove's Progressive Calendar:

"We are convinced that Dean is innocent of the crime of bribery"

"we stand in support of an honest man"

"We miss Dean's leadership on the Minneapolis City

"Dean Zimmermann is a political prisoner"

Farheen Hakeem also has Zimmermann's picture (far left) on her website:

"Farheen also finds it to be important that the Green Party has little involvement with corporate corruption and greed."

Farheen Hakeem

This is how the U.S. 8th Circuit Court summarized the case against Zimmermann when they unanimously upheld the jury's verdict last month:


On January 18, 2006, a federal grand jury sitting in the District of Minnesota returned a four-count indictment against the
defendant, former Minneapolis City Councilman Gary Dean Zimmermann. The grand jury alleged in each of the four counts that Zimmermann violated Title 18, United States Code, Section 666(a)(1)(B), by knowingly and corruptly soliciting something of value with intent to be influenced or rewarded in connection with any business, transaction or series of transactions with the government of the City of Minneapolis. Counts 1, 2, and 3 pertained to $5,000, $1,200, and $1,000 cash payments, respectively, that Zimmermann accepted from a real estate developer, Gary Carlson, in June and August of 2005. Count 4 pertained to Zimmermann’s request made to a separate developer in 2004 for the construction, at no charge to him, of a retaining wall.

Zimmermann was convicted on the first three counts and sentenced 30 months in a federal correctional facility.

I had an opportunity to talk with the chief witness in the trial, Gary Carlson before the holidays. Here's the videotaped interview:

I live in MN House District 61B. I emailed Farheen Hakeem for a statement about her views on Zimmermann... I have not received an answer.

Farheen Hakeem, Dean Zimmermann