* Jon Seidel…
A major public corruption trial set for late summer has been postponed because of a delay in another major trial set to begin soon at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse — the child pornography trial of R&B superstar R. Kelly.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber presides over both cases, which were scheduled for back-to-back trials this year. Kelly’s trial had been set for Aug. 1. Meanwhile, the ComEd bribery case involving four members of indicted former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s inner-circle had been set for trial Sept. 12.
The ComEd case involves Madigan’s co-defendant, Michael McClain. It had been set to take place amid this fall’s general election campaign and could ultimately serve as a preview of Madigan’s trial.
But Leinenweber announced Tuesday that the building’s ceremonial courtroom — its largest — won’t be available for Kelly’s trial until Aug. 15. That two-week delay was enough to knock the ComEd case off the calendar. During a hearing in that case, prosecutors began suggesting a trial in the spring, noting a conflict with another trial in January.
That could be the trial of former Madigan chief of staff Timothy Mapes, who is set to go to trial for perjury that month.
McClain attorney Patrick Cotter, however, said he thought a delay until spring seemed “a little excessive.” The judge agreed to set a status hearing for July 14 to try to set a new trial date.