(Information in the following story is from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com)

MONROE, La. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that former Monroe City Councilmen Arthur Gilmore and Robert Stevens can remain out of prison until the resolution of their appeals.

The News-Star reports U.S. District Judge Robert James granted the pair's motions Thursday for release pending appeal of their convictions and sentences.

Gilmore and Stevens were convicted of racketeering and bribery in May 2011. James later granted the defense's request for a new trial because the court was never made aware local businessman Eddie Hakim, the government's star witness, was facing an IRS investigation.

However, James decided in March to uphold the original convictions because the court found there was no reasonable probability that the suppressed evidence pertaining to Hakim would have affected the jury's judgment.