Warnock seeks 4th continuance in trial

Warnock seeks 4th continuance in trial


Former Madison County engineer Rudy Warnock is seeking a fourth continuance in his federal bribery and wire fraud trial scheduled for Aug. 7.

Warnock’s attorneys say they need more time to examine evidence provided in discovery by the prosecution. 

A motion dated July 13 was filed in federal court on Monday by Warnock’s attorney John M. Colette.

“Due to the numerous audio recordings and recent guilty plea of two of three co-defendants, additional time is needed to review, adequately prepare and advise your defendant of all aspects of the case,” the motion states. “In addition, the third co-defendant is in the process of entering a plea and the material pertaining to same will need to be reviewed.”

According to the motion, the U.S. Department of Justice had no objection to the continuance. 

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 Canton Municipal Utilities from 2016 to 2017. 

Warnock, who has been charged with bribery and wire fraud that allegedly occurred during his brief stint at CMU after he was fired by Madison County, was most scheduled to go to trial on June 5 before U.S. Judge Henry Wingate granted the two-month continuance.

Indictments against Warnock and the others were unsealed in November 2022. 

The sentencing hearings for Grant, Anderson and Gilkey, originally scheduled for May 24, have also been continued indefinitely, 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 unsealed 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. 

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