Walter Reed’s trial on a raft of corruption charges has been postponed from Jan. 11 to April 18, a delay that his attorney said stems from the addition of another charge to the federal case against the former St. Tammany and Washington parishes district attorney.
Oral arguments on several motions — including one to separate Reed’s case from that of his son Steven — that were scheduled for Thursday also have been delayed and are now set for Dec. 3.
Walter Reed’s attorney, Richard Simmons, said the rescheduling results from last week’s superseding indictment, which added another wire-fraud charge to the case and brought the total number of counts to 19.
The government’s case focuses on what it says was Reed’s use of campaign donations for personal spending, including allegations that he conspired with his son to divert campaign cash to the younger Reed. The former district attorney faces charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and making false statements on tax returns.
The new count focuses on a $25,000 donation Reed made from his campaign fund in 2013 to Faith Tabernacle Church’s building fund. The government claims the money was really payment for a referral in a personal injury case that Jerry Wayne Cox, pastor of the Franklinton church, steered to Reed.
Cox recently pleaded guilty to an unrelated charge of structuring financial transactions to avoid a federal reporting requirement. He is cooperating with federal authorities, according to his lawyer.
Besides facing a new charge, Reed and his son were handed a setback when U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon denied a request to dismiss the charges related to spending of campaign money, which the defense argued were an overreach by the government.
Simmons called the delay in his client’s trial a normal development following a superseding indictment, saying that the new count brings additional issues and additional discovery that the defense has to have time to address.
The scheduling changes were made following a telephone status conference with the judge Friday.
Simmons said he will be filing additional motions by the Nov. 10 deadline set by the judge for the Dec. 3 hearing. The government has until Nov. 19 to file any responses.
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