A competency hearing will be held in June to determine whether former Reynolds and Reynolds Co. CEO Bob Brockman is competent to assist in his defense against federal charges of tax evasion and wire fraud, a judge ordered Monday.
U.S. District Judge George Hanks Jr.’s order in the criminal case against Brockman schedules competency proceedings, including examinations, this spring prior to the hearing in June. Brockman’s attorneys last year requested a competency hearing, citing in court filings a diagnosis indicative of Parkinson’s disease or Lewy body dementia that is progressive and has affected his ability to process and retain information.
The June 29 competency hearing is intended to ascertain “whether the defendant may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense,” according to Hanks’ order, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, near Brockman’s home in Houston.
Prior to the hearing, Brockman will be examined by psychiatrists or psychologists at prosecutors’ request, according to the order. After a decision is made as to Brockman’s competency, the court will set dates for future proceedings, including a trial, “if needed,” according to Hanks’ order. The order Monday follows a motion filed last week indicating that Brockman’s lawyers and prosecutors agreed to a schedule of competency proceedings.
Brockman, 79, was indicted in October on 39 counts, including tax evasion, wire fraud, money laundering, and evidence tampering in what prosecutors say was a scheme lasting two decades to evade taxes on $2 billion in income. He has pleaded not guilty.
Brockman stepped down from his roles as chairman and CEO of privately held dealership management system giant Reynolds and Reynolds in November.
Prosecutors have agreed that a competency hearing is warranted in the case, but say Brockman’s activities — including staying on as the top executive at Reynolds until after he was charged — raise questions about defense lawyers’ competency claims.
Brockman was indicted in federal court in San Francisco, but a judge there in January ordered the case moved to the Houston court.