Betti's Last Stand

Why couldn't she just say no?

That disclosure raises the obvious question: If Maldonado could say no to Peppar and Post and walk away from a lucrative deal, why couldn't she do the same thing with the Cayman Group, which involved less money and far riskier behavior?

In fact, several sources familiar with the Peppar and Post situation suggest that Maldonado actually resigned because she was miffed that a fellow consultant, Willard Jackson, had received a larger cut of the contract.

At one point in DeGuerin's examination of his client, he commented that a taped Maldonado comment to the agents seemed "disjointed."

"My head is disjointed," replied Maldonado of her frame of mind at the time. "I'm going with the flow. Going with the moment."

Two and a half years later, her defense seems to be stuck in that same posture. Maldonado may well be acquitted on the grounds she was entrapped by the agents into committing acts she never would have engaged in otherwise. But judging by her testimony, she hadn't been forced to do anything against her will on the day she gave John Castillo that cash-filled envelope.

Relay your news tips to The Insider. Call him at 280-2483, fax him at 280-2496 or e-mail him at insider@houstonpress.com.

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