NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Arizona congressman Richard Renzi must face public corruption charges over allegations that he coerced a mining company into buying land from one of his former business partners, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday.
Renzi was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002.
According to court documents, in 2005, representatives for Resolution Copper Mining LLC approached Renzi about securing mineral rights to a large copper deposit in Arizona.
The government has alleged that in exchange for his support, Renzi directed an investment group led by Philip Aries to buy property from a former business partner who owed money to him. The government has claimed that partner then funneled money back to Renzi. He was indicted in 2009.
Renzi has contested the charges and sought to end the case. However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected his bid to have the case thrown out of court.
An attorney for Renzi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case in the 9th Circuit is United States of America v. Richard G. Renzi, 10-10088.
(Reporting by Dan Levine)
(This article has been modified to correct paragraph 4 to show that an investment group led by Philip Aries and not Resolution Copper Mining was the company Renzi allegedly directed to buy property)