The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 15, 2013

Remote testimony likely in Ward trial

OTTUMWA – Attorneys for former Ottumwa Transit Administration director Pam Ward say they anticipate calling a witness who won't be in the courtroom, and prosecutors say they have no objections.

Court documents filed in the case show the defense wants to call Pat Piras, owner of Pat Piras Consulting. The company specializes in transportation planning, public policy and analysis. Piras has been a speaker at transportation conferences over the years.

Piras is willing to testify but has requested that she not be required to travel to Des Moines, where the trial will be held, citing health issues. As an alternative, Piras requested she be allowed to go to a federal courthouse in California and testify by teleconference.

The defense says Piras' testimony “would probably be less than one hour to an hour and one-half even including cross-examination.”

Prosecutors responded that they have no objection to the arrangement, though they reserved the right to challenge any testimony Piras may offer.

Piras is expected to testify Friday, June 7. Ward's trial is scheduled to begin June 3.

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