Lawyers for former U.S. Congressman Chaka Fattah are arguing that he should stay out of jail while an appeals court decides whether Judge Harvey Bartle III abused his authority by dismissing a dissident juror who didn't think that the government had proved its political corruption case against Fattah beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fattah, a former 11-term congressman, was sentenced earlier this month by Judge Bartle to 10 years in prison after a jury in July convicted Fattah of conspiracy to commit racketeering, wire fraud and honest services fraud, as well as falsifying records and laundering money. Fattah, currently free on $100,000 bail, is scheduled to report to prison on Jan. 25th.
But according to Fattah's lawyers, who filed a motion for bail today, there is a "substantial question" on appeal likely to result in a reversal of the former congressman's conviction. That question: whether Judge Bartle committed an "abuse of discretion" when he booted dissident Juror No. 12.