EAST ST. LOUIS — A federal judge has delayed the sentencing hearing for ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon until Dec. 6, so that Bathon can continue cooperating with federal investigators investigating a bid-rigging scheme that cheated thousands of Madison County taxpayers out of millions of dollars.
Bathon's sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge David Herndon had originally been set for Aug. 30.
But Herndon agreed Friday to delay Bathon's sentencing until Dec. 6 after Clyde Kuehn, Bathon's attorney, filed a motion to continue sentencing for 90 days, court records show.
In the motion to continue Bathon's sentencing, Kuehn stated his client's case "involves co-conspirators who may be charged at a later date."
In addition, Bathon "is currently cooperating with the Government in its efforts to bring future charges against these conspirators."
The government did not object to the motion for the sentencing delay.
Bathon pleaded guilty in early February in U.S. district court in East St. Louis to a criminal charge of rigging the tax sale so that his political donors profited from inflated interest penalties paid by property owners.
Bathon originally was set to be sentenced May 17, but Herndon earlier had agreed to delay the sentencing to May 21. Then, after Kuehn filed a motion for the sentencing hearing to be continued, Herndon ordered the sentencing pushed back to Aug. 30.
Bathon, according to his plea agreement, could receive a prison sentence of between 31 and 40 months, though his sentence could be reduced based on his cooperation with federal law enforcement.
Bathon's guilty plea, as well as the three class-action lawsuits, occurred more than two years after a September 2010 series by the News-Democrat that exposed the bid-rigging scheme.