Judge refuses to delay state legislator’s trial

Published 8:39 am Saturday, January 24, 2009

MONTGOMERY — A judge has refused to delay the fraud trial of a north Alabama legislator until after the end of the Legislature’s 2009 session.

State Rep. Sue Schmitz had asked U.S. District Judge David Proctor to delay the start of her retrial from Feb. 10 until after the session ends in May. The Democrat from Toney had complained that her district would be without representation while she is in court and she would miss important committee meetings.

But Proctor ruled Friday that Schmitz faces serious charges and it’s in the best interest of the public for the case to be resolved.

Schmitz is accused of taking more than $175,000 in pay from a job in the two-year college system and then performing little or no work.

Her first trial last summer ended in a mistrial.

If convicted, Schmitz would lose her position in the Legislature.