PORTLAND - Bill Sizemore's wife is considering cutting a deal to cooperate with prosecutors in the tax-evasion case against her political-activist husband.
A deal, hinted at in court documents, could lead to her testifying against Sizemore in court.
Cindy and Bill Sizemore face three felony counts each of state tax evasion after the couple failed to file returns in 2006, 2007 and 2008. They face up to five years in prison for each count, though neither has a trial date yet.
Cindy Sizemore's attorney confirmed Wednesday night that she had a discussion with prosecutors about a possible deal. Both Sizemores, however, dispute portions of the state's claims in court.
In documents filed in Marion County Circuit Court, the Oregon Department of Justice says Sizemore "was angry and argumentative with Cindy Sizemore for participating in these discussions" about a possible plea deal.
"Such tactics, if undertaken, are inappropriate and smacks (sic) of the sort of power control tactics observed in domestic violence cases when a defendant attempts to manipulate and intimidate government witness and crime victims," the state's filing says.
Prosecutors want a court order to keep Bill Sizemore from talking to his wife about the case.
But Cindy Sizemore, in a statement issued by her attorney, Kimberly Goring Raley, said state prosecutors wrongly suggested Bill Sizemore posed a threat to her.
"There has been no agreement reached between Mrs. Sizemore and the Attorney General's office concerning the Sizemores' criminal cases," Raley's statement says. "Further, any allegations by the Attorney General's office suggesting that Bill Sizemore was in any way abusive towards Mrs. Sizemore are patently false."
Raley declined to answer any other questions about the case.
In an interview Wednesday, Bill Sizemore also said the state's allegation of verbal abuse against his wife isn't true. "If they have some evidence of it, I'd like to know what it is," Sizemore said. "And I can tell you right now, it's false."
Justice Department spokesman Tony Green declined to respond to Bill Sizemore's statement, saying his office does not comment on ongoing criminal cases.
The Sizemores, who have five children together, live apart. He's in Eagle Creek; she's living in the Bend area. According to court documents, prosecutors are seeking to modify Bill Sizemore's release agreement so that it would limit the couple's contact to telephone conversations or e-mail exchanges about their children.
Bill Sizemore said Wednesday he was fully aware of his wife's plans to talk to the state about a possible plea. And he says he's not worried if she does testify against him. "There is nothing that I have done wrong that she knows about that is a secret and would hurt the case," Sizemore said.