Woonsocket, R.I. A judge has denied a mistrial for two former CVS executives, the company said on Tuesday. The judge, presiding in the federal corruption trial of Carlos Ortiz and John R. Kramer—former VPs who are accused of paying former state senator John Celona to advance CVS’s legislative agenda—formally denied the mistrial but will allow defense lawyers to question the government’s star witness again about what they believe were his lies under oath.
Lawyers for Ortiz and Kramer have argued that Celona offered false testimony last week that contradicted previous statements he made before a grand jury investigating the case and at an earlier corruption trial.
They said prosecutors did not confront Celona about his inconsistent statements and did not alert them that Celona would change his story about critical elements of the case.
U.S. Attorney Robert Clark Corrente said that while Celona's testimony before grand juries and at trial has routinely changed, making it difficult for prosecutors to discern the truth, Celona's inconsistent statements didn't constitute perjury.
Celona, who pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and is serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence, testified for four days last week as the government's star witness against Kramer and Ortiz.