A defense attorney in a corruption trial of four former local officials grilled an investigator in the case Tuesday about whether the detective had threatened a confidential informant.

Joshua Genn, a detective investigator in the Nassau County district attorney's office, said he did not threaten or coerce the informant, developer Ranjan Batheja, into taking any action.

Asked about a videotaped interview with Batheja in September 2008, Genn testified that he and his partner mentioned Batheja's wife as they tried to pressure Batheja into cooperating fully. On the video, Genn told Batheja -- who eventually pleaded guilty to bribery charges -- that investigators could build a case against his wife, too.

But under cross-examination by Frederick Brewington, of Hempstead, the attorney for Neville Mullings, the former director of the North Hempstead Community Development Agency, Genn testified that she was not in fact a target.

Brewington asked whether Genn was "using his wife against him."

Genn said, "In that context, yes."

On trial along with Mullings, of Westbury, are former Nassau lawmakers Roger Corbin, also of Westbury, and Patrick Williams, of Uniondale, and David Wasserman, of Roslyn Heights, North Hempstead's former building and planning commissioner. The men were indicted in July 2010 and face charges of conspiracy and grand larceny for allegedly steering work to Batheja in exchange for $400,000 in bribes.

In the afternoon, the judge read a note requesting that Juror No. 7 be released because the other members felt they could not deliberate with him. That juror was replaced with one of the alternate jurors.

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