Simmons Tells Tangled Tale of Job Favor

Simmons Tells Tangled Tale of Job Favor

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John Daley ReportingAt the Olympic bribery trial today former SLOC finance director Rod Hamson concluded his testimony and Salt Lake businessman David Simmons took the stand.

Again a main focus was the special treatment for the IOC, this time regarding a green card obtained for the son of a key IOC member.

Over the past few weeks we've seen prosecutors try to build their case piece by piece. And the defense team, in turn, tries to chip away at that case. Today from the defense we saw a new line of attack, questions aimed at implying key witnesses were pressured by the government to cooperate.

On his way into court businessman David Simmons offered a short but simple comment, “I’m just here to tell the truth.”

In the case against former Olympic leaders Tom Welch and Dave Johnson, Simmons is a key government witness because he's alleged to have helped the bid committee get a job and green card for the son of one of the most powerful and influential IOC members, Dr. Un Yong Kim of South Korea.

Under questioning from Justice Department prosecutor Richard Wiedis, Simmons testified that Welch asked Simmons to employ Dr. Kim's son John at his communications firm.

David Simmons: "Tom Welch made it clear to me they were certainly trying to do what they could to positively influence Dr. Kim, and hiring his son would be very positive way for that."

Simmons testified that in the early 90s he hired John Kim for a job at which Kim never did any work. Simmons was reimbursed $78,000 by the bid committee for that expense and told by either Welch or Johnson to not list Kim on his company's invoice. John Kim is currently under house arrest in Bulgaria being extradited to face related charges in this case.

Under the most intense cross-examination of the trial so far, Welch's attorney Bill Taylor grilled Simmons who has a plea deal with the government. Taylor asked Simmons if he'd lied when talking to prosecutors, and if he'd changed his testimony to avoid further prosecution.

Afterward Taylor hinted at an emerging defense position.

Bill Taylor, Attorney for Tom Welch: "This may not be the last witness you'll hear about who got pressured. ‘Q-Pressured by the government?’ Yeah. ‘Q-In what way?’ That's all I have to say about it."

Also today, key government witness Rod Hamson wrapped up testimony this morning. Both sides attempted to use Hamson to prove their main arguments, but unlike last week there were no big fireworks.

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