KESQ NewsChannel 3 Palm Springs, CA: Judge declines to lift notice on congressman's SD County home

SAN DIEGO A federal judge declined today to lift a legal notice that an attorney for Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham said was preventing the congressman's San Diego area mansion from selling at its three-point-five (m) million dollar list price.

Attorney Mark Holscher said the sale has been held up by the U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego, which is seeking to forfeit the five-bedroom, eight-bath Spanish colonial estate in exclusive Rancho Santa Fe. Criminal prosecutors investigating Cunningham contend he bought the home in 2003 with the help of a one-point-four (m) million dollar bribe he allegedly "demanded and received" from a defense contractor.

U-S District Judge Dana M. Sabraw agreed the legal notice filed by prosecutors with the San Diego County Recorder's office was hurting the property value and perhaps the chances for a sale. But the judge told attorneys for both sides to work out a settlement in the next few days.

Cunningham said in July that he intended to sell his home and donate a portion of the proceeds to charity. The San Diego-area Republican also announced that he would not seek a ninth term in office, although he insisted he was guilty only of "poor judgment."

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