City Councilman Jack Kelly, we learned today in federal court, is not much of a computer user. Kelly's former chief of staff, Chris Wright, is on trial along with Kelly's one-time campaign treasurer and two brothers who have donated tens of thousands of dollars to his campaigns.
"Councilman Kelly is computer illiterate," said attorney William DeStefano, while explaining why one of the brothers, Hardeep Chawla, had emailed Wright for help getting Kelly to write a letter of reference. Hardeep had recently given Wright $1,000, which the feds consider a bribe for the letter and other services. DeStefano painted Wright as more of a middle-man for a boss unable to read e-mail. Chawla wanted the letter for a judge who was due to sentence him in 2006 for defrauding the government on leases for two buildings.
Kelly is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution after he agreed to tape a telephone conversation for the feds with Wright in June 2007 and a face-to-face meeting with Chawla's brother, Ravinder.