Impeached former Gov. Evan Mecham, facing trial this week on charges of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan, proclaimed faith in his innocence but uncertainty about whether he will be acquitted.
Mecham, who was removed from office April 4 by the Legislature, could be sentenced to up to 22 years in prison if found guilty on all six felony counts of perjury, willful concealment and filing false documents.His brother and 1986 campaign treasurer, Willard Mecham, will be tried on three similar counts.
In the criminal case, Mecham and his brother are accused of concealing a $350,000 campaign loan from Tempe developer Barry Wolfson by failing to report it on Evan Mecham's personal or campaign financial statements.
"I have committed no crime," Mecham, 64, said last week. "I should be found innocent because I don't feel myself guilty as far as I can see."
However, Mecham shied away from predicting he will be exonerated by a jury and indicated he still may be open to a plea agreement if it didn't involve pleading guilty to a felony, a condition that prosecutors have rejected previously.