A U.S. District Court judge is deliberating whether to punish a one-time juror for leaving town during a trial.
Scott C. Enke, 33, of Plainfield, went on a business trip to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on March 8, the Sun-Times reports. Enke was assigned to serve on a jury for a Medicare Fraud trial, and his absence led a federal judge to hold him in contempt for failing to appear
“It is plain that Enke acted under the assumption that fulfilling his obligation to serve on a jury was not as important as his business trip for his employer,” wrote U.S. District Judge James Holderman.
Enke’s lawyer insisted that wasn’t true, saying there were a lot of "crossed signals" and his client isn't one to disrespect the law.
According to the Sun-Times, Enke received five days off from his employer, Covidien PLC, a medical device supplier, for jury duty, but he failed to tell the court about a business trip that was rescheduled. His company’s client threatened to take its business elsewhere if someone from Enke’s company didn’t show up for the procedure, the paper reports.
Enke called the courtroom deputy clerk and claimed he was excused. The clerk denied that. Enke also said he left a message on the trial judge’s voicemail.
Judge Holderman postponed until July 10 whether to fine Enke up to $1,000, send him to jail for three days or give him community service.
The judge said he needed more time to examine Enke’s background before handing down a punishment.