Warnock federal trial continued to August
Former Madison County engineer Rudy Warnock’s federal bribery and wire fraud trial has been continued for third time as his attorneys say they need more time to comb through thousands of pages of discovery presented by the prosecution.
U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate set the new trial date to Aug. 7.
The latest information filed on the docket last week was a request by Warnock to leave Alabama to travel to Panama City Beach, Fla., for a family vacation in July that was also approved by the court.
Warnock, who has been charged with bribery and wire fraud that allegedly occurred during his brief stint at Canton Municipal Utilities after he was fired by Madison County, was most recently scheduled to go to trial on June 5.
Warnock remains the only person implicated in the case who hasn’t pleaded guilty after indictments were unsealed in November 2022.
Former Canton Municipal Utilities Chairman Cleveland Anderson and former Canton aldermen Andrew Grant and Eric Gilkey have all pleaded guilty to bribery charges stemming from Warnock’s one-year stint at CMU from 2016 to 2017.
Their sentencing hearings, originally scheduled for May 24, have also been continued, presumably until Warnock’s trial is completed, observers have said.
Warnock was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Warnock was indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2021, but the indictments were sealed until November 2022. Warnock pleaded not guilty at his initial appearance. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Grant, Anderson and Gilkey are all facing a maximum penalty of five years in prison, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
“According to court documents, Warnock is charged with having directed payments and rewards to Anderson, Gilkey and Grant in exchange for preferential treatment that resulted in lucrative city engineering contracts for Warnock,” a November 2022 press release from the Justice Department said. “The ‘gratuities’ supplied by Warnock included thousands of dollars in cash, concert tickets, and football tickets in New Orleans.”
According to the indictment, around Dec. 23, 2016, a check in the amount of $9,200 made payable to a J.M. was deposited and cleared an automated clearinghouse of the Federal Reserve Bank and both Gilkey and Grant were paid $4,000 each.