An updated scheduling order was issued this week in a RICO case filed against several former Floyd County school system employees accused of stealing over $6 million.
The case was expected to move forward quickly this year under a previous scheduling order before court proceedings were halted statewide by an emergency judicial order issued in March. The order, which was recently extended to June 12, halted many court functions deemed non-essential.
The criminal case includes 13 defendants on multiple charges ranging from racketeering to conspiracy to theft.
According to the indictment, Derry Richardson and several others are accused of using his position as maintenance director in the school system to steal millions of dollars from the school system.
Conspirators are accused of creating inflated, and in some cases completely fraudulent, invoices for both construction and maintenance projects.
While a majority of those accused were arrested in 2016, the criminal case only began to move forward in 2018 after a civil case wrapped up.
The order penned by Floyd County Superior Court Judge Jack Niedrach states pre-trial motions, demurrers or special pleas have to be filed by May 23 and discovery to be completed by May 31. Hearings will begin on June 8 and will continue until completed.
The hearings will take place at The Forum, which has been annexed to be a functioning wing of the courthouse. Niedrach also made a provision for attorneys or defendants who wish to participate by videoconference.
Also pending is an appeal concerning Niedrach’s ruling to allow the district attorney to dismiss two flawed indictments in the RICO case is still awaiting a ruling in the states appellate court.
Attorneys for defendants in the case argued the court should have thrown out both indictments, which would have effectively ended the criminal case. Prosecutors stated they were well within their rights to drop the previous indictments and re-indict the defendants a third time.
Among the items expected to be heard in the case in June are motions to completely end the criminal case.
They argue that the statute of limitations has expired for all of the charges. In another motion, several defendants, are asking the court to be tried separately.