Philpot won’t get out of jail during his appeal
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org March 26, 2013 1:26PM
Updated: April 28, 2013 6:34AM
Former Lake County Coroner Thomas Philpot will stay in prison after a federal judge denied his request Tuesday to stay out on bond pending the result of his appeal.
Philpot actually reported to prison last week, several weeks before he had to. His attorney Leonard Goodman said they were still moving forward with the motion, though, and that Philpot would just leave if the motion was granted.
Philpot is appealing his conviction last summer of paying himself from a state fund when he did not have the authorization to do so. He was sentenced earlier this year to 18 months in prison. Philpot’s attorneys argued in his motion that because the appeals process can take some time, he likely would have already served a majority of the sentence by time the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on his case.
U.S. District Judge James Moody wrote in his opinion, issued Tuesday, that Philpot’s appeal arguments did not present close questions. For instance, Moody wrote, Philpot’s argument that he should have been given credit for paying the money back before he was indicted doesn’t hold water because he only paid the money back after the Lake County Council found out he improperly took it. If he hadn’t paid it back, the State Board of Accounts would have sued him for the money.
He also noted that the statute setting out the law was not complex and something that Philpot, an attorney, could have understood. Philpot has argued that when he found out about the law, he went to his attorney, David Saks, for a legal opinion on the issue and that Saks told him he was OK.