That, more or less, is the prosecution’s response to former U.S. Rep Mel Reynolds’ claim that, because of his restrictions in jail, he can’t adequately prepare for trial in a federal tax case against him.
Earlier this week, in a hand-written filing, Reynolds said he wants to plead guilty to the misdemeanor federal charges of failing to file a tax return. In the filing, Reynolds, who is being held at a detention center in Kankakee, said that he’s been in protective custody while locked up and doesn’t have access to areas of the prison or computers that would allow him to prepare for trial.
But in a filing posted Friday, federal prosecutors noted that Reynolds himself requested protective custody and he still has access to the law library and a computer.
Prosecutors checked with detention center officials, who said Reynolds had, in fact, used the law library.
“In short, the defendant has the ability to prepare for trial,” reads part of the prosecution’s motion filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago. “Whether the defendant chooses to access the discovery material or conduct legal research is up to him. Neither the government nor the the detention center is preventing him from doing so. Likewise, it was the defendant’s choice to be placed in protective custody, which comes with certain restrictions.”
Reynolds was arrested in April at an Atlanta airport, when he arrived from South Africa after failing to attend an earlier hearing in the tax case.