Ex-Congressman Reynolds gets out of jail, but trial still awaits

A federal judge on Thursday told former U.S. Rep. Mel Reynolds he was free to go — but he has to come back.

Reynolds, who has been in custody since April, appeared in U.S. District Court in Chicago on Thursday for the latest hearing in his ongoing tax fraud trial, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

He will reside in Monee. He was locked up after violating the conditions of his bond, and after failing to find a place to live where he could be put on electronic monitoring.

And while he had insisted he was not a flight risk, Judge John Darrah begged to differ, noting that he’d had to issue an arrest warrant in March.

Reynolds twice violated the conditions of his bond — once by visiting Zambia without the judge’s permission, and most recently by failing to return to Chicago on time from South Africa, where he said he had been tending to his ailing daughter. Reynolds eventally was taken into custody at the Atlanta airport.

Later, after some time in a Kankakee County detention center, Reynolds complained that it was impossible for him to prepare for his case, and wasn’t being given access to related documents. He did, however, file some hand-written motions with the court.

Reynolds is accused of failing to file federal income tax returns between 2009 and 2012.