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United States. v. Slade

United States District Court, Third Circuit

July 3, 2013

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
MICHAEL A. SLADE, JR. COURTENEY L. KNIGHT

MEMORANDUM

R. BARCLAY SURRICK, J.

Presently before the Court are Defendant Michael A. Slade, Jr.’s Motion to Inspect Grand Jury Minutes and/or be Provided with Certain Related Documents (ECF No. 69), and Defendant Dr. Courteney L. Knight’s Motion to Inspect Jury Minutes and/or be Provided with Certain Related Documents (ECF No. 70). For the following reasons, Defendants’ Motions will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

On January 22, 2013, a federal grand jury returned a sixty-seven count Superseding Indictment against Dorothy June Brown, Joan Woods Chalker, Michael A. Slade, Jr., Courteney L. Knight, and Anthony Smoot. (Superseding Indictment (“Indictment”), ECF No. 47.)[1] The charges in the Indictment arise out of an alleged scheme orchestrated by Brown to defraud three separate charter schools out of over $6.7 million dollars. The Indictment charges Knight with conspiring to obstruct justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Count 53), and two counts of obstruction of justice, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1519 (Counts 60, 64). (Indictment 46-48, 62, 66.) Similarly, Slade was charged with conspiring to obstruct justice (Count 53), and two counts of obstruction of justice (Counts 59, 64). (Id. at 61, 66.)

The Government alleges that Defendants Knight and Slade conspired with their co-Defendants and with others to obstruct a grand jury investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and Department of Education, Office of Inspector General (“ED/OIG”). (Id. at 46-48.) Specifically, it is alleged that Knight and Slade altered, destroyed, and falsified records with the intent to impede, obstruct, and influence the grand jury investigation. (Id. at 61-62, 66.) The documents included policy documents, contracts, and board resolutions for the Philadelphia charter schools that were the alleged subjects of Defendants’ fraudulent scheme. (Id.)

Defendants Knight and Slade filed their respective Motions on March 18, 2013. (Defs.’ Mot., ECF Nos. 69, 70; Defs.’ Br., ECF Nos. 69, 70.)[2] The Government filed a Response to the Motions on April 22, 2013. (Gov’t’s Resp., ECF No. 92.) On June 20, 2013, argument was held on these and other pretrial Motions. (Min. Entry, ECF No. 107.)

II. DISCUSSION

A. The Parties’ Contentions

Defendants request permission to inspect or be provided with a copy of certain grand jury materials. Specifically, Defendants request the following documents:

1. Any Order reflecting the beginning or extension of the term of the Grand Jury;
2. All statements of any Assistant United States Attorney reflecting the scope of the investigation;
3. All statements made to the Grand Jury by the Assistant United States Attorney regarding legal instructions of the charge of conspiracy;
4. All statements made to the Grand Jury by the Assistant United States Attorney regarding legal instructions of the ...

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