A warrant has been issued for a former Illinois congressman for failure to appear in court in a federal tax case.
U.S. District Judge John Darrah issued a warrant for the arrest of former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds, who is accused of missing a court-ordered deadline to appear in court Thursday. Reynolds was supposed to return to Chicago from South Africa, where according to Reynolds, he is taking care of his 23-year-old daughter, Marisol, who has scoliosis.
He pleaded with prosecutors in an open letter to “find it in their hearts to realize the magnitude” of what the family is facing.
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“Maybe another parent could walk away from their child now,” he said. “But I can’t.”
On Wednesday, Judge Darrah refused Reynolds’ request to extend his stay in South Africa an additional six months. According to the Chicago Tribune, Darrah sought specific information regarding the treatment schedule of Reynolds’ daughter.
Reynolds, who pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to go on trial May 2 on four misdemeanor counts of failure to file federal income tax returns. Convictions would carry a maximum penalty of up to a year in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.