Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson | Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times file
The case had been set to go to trial Monday, less than six months after a federal grand jury charged Thompson with filing false tax returns and lying to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. But late Tuesday, prosecutors filed an emergency motion to delay the trial over a medical issue.
The federal criminal trial of Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th) is on hold after a family member of the lead prosecutor in the case was hospitalized.
The case had been scheduled to go to trial Monday, less than six months after a federal grand jury charged Thompson with filing false tax returns and lying to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. But late Tuesday, prosecutors filed an emergency motion to delay the trial.
Prosecutors suggested postponing the matter until at least Nov. 1. During a brief hearing Wednesday morning, defense attorney Chris Gair said Thompson is eager to go to trial but the medical situation “has to take priority.”
Still, it’s unclear when the trial will now go forward. U.S. District Judge Franklin Valderrama offered that he could possibly schedule a trial for Nov. 1, but the case would have to be in the jury’s hands by Nov. 8. Neither Gair nor a prosecutor would guarantee the trial would end that quickly.
So Valderrama instead set a Tuesday status hearing to discuss potential trial dates.
Scheduling trials at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse has become more complex under the building’s COVID-19 protocols. Among other things, one trial typically now requires the use of three courtrooms — one for the trial, one for use as a jury room, and one for use as a public overflow room.
Thompson — a grandson and nephew of Chicago’s two longest-serving mayors — is charged with lying to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and filing false income-tax returns in which he lied about paying more than $170,000 in mortgage interest over five years. He has pleaded not guilty.
Thompson is also the highest-profile figure to face criminal charges in connection with the clout-heavy Washington Federal Bank for Savings in Bridgeport, which federal regulators shut down in 2017 over what they say was a massive fraud scheme.