U.S. judge agrees to delay Brockman competency hearing

A federal judge has agreed to delay a competency hearing to determine whether former Reynolds and Reynolds Co. CEO Bob Brockman can assist in his defense against tax evasion charges.

U.S. District Judge George Hanks Jr. on Wednesday signed an order moving the scheduled competency hearing in Brockman’s case from June 29 to Sept. 13, according to court filings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, where the case is pending.

Hanks’ decision follows a request from Brockman’s attorneys to postpone the hearing and extend deadlines for other competency proceedings after Brockman was hospitalized in March for an undisclosed medical condition. Defense attorneys originally asked Hanks to push the competency hearing to August but later sought to move it to September to provide more time to submit expert reports to the court.

Prosecutors do not oppose the request, Brockman’s attorneys noted in the filing.

Brockman, 79, was taken to the emergency room at Houston Methodist Hospital on March 14 and later admitted to a neurosensory center, his lawyers wrote in a court filing. He was released March 19. Details about the medical condition that required Brockman to be hospitalized were redacted from the public filing, with his attorneys citing “the inclusion of sensitive medical information.”

Brockman had completed one of several planned psychiatric or psychological exams sought by prosecutors before he was admitted to the hospital, according to the court filing.

His attorneys did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Thursday.

Brockman’s lawyers sought the competency hearing to determine whether he can aid in his defense on 39 counts, including tax evasion, wire fraud, money laundering and evidence tampering. Prosecutors have called the charges part of a scheme lasting two decades to evade taxes on $2 billion in income. Brockman has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys said in court filings that Brockman has a diagnosis indicative of Parkinson’s disease or Lewy body dementia that is progressive and has affected his ability to process and retain information.

Hanks’ original schedule for competency proceedings said the court will set dates for future events, including a trial, “if needed” after a decision is made as to Brockman’s competency.

Brockman stepped down from his roles as chairman and CEO of privately held dealership management system giant Reynolds and Reynolds in November.

A status conference in the case is scheduled for Tuesday.

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