A federal appeals court Tuesday rejected an appeal by former state Rep. Dwayne Taylor, a Daytona Beach Democrat who was convicted last year on wire-fraud charges.
Taylor was sentenced to 13 months in prison after being convicted on nine counts of wire fraud related to the personal use of campaign funds. It is illegal in Florida to use campaign contributions for normal living expenses.
In the appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Taylor’s attorney contended that the issue of “willfulness” had been improperly left out of instructions to the jury about the crime of wire fraud.
“The omission of willfulness from the jury instruction prevented the jury from considering all the elements necessary (to) reach a valid verdict,” Taylor’s appellate attorney, Tom Dale, wrote in a March brief. But in a two-page ruling Monday, a panel of the appeals court said the two sides in the trial submitted “joint proposed jury instructions to the district court that — consistent with the pattern instruction for wire fraud — did not include the word ‘willfully.’ ”
The appeals court said it would not review what it described as “invited error.” Taylor, 50, who served in the state House from 2008 to 2016, is in a federal penitentiary in Atlanta and is slated for release in December, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.