By Ken Stone
Margaret Hunter’s sentencing for her part in the campaign spending scandal that forced her husband from Congress is expected to be delayed once again.
Lawyers for the wife of former Rep. Duncan D. Hunter and the local U.S. Attorney’s Office have asked a judge to push back her sentencing hearing to Aug. 10 from July 6.
They asked federal Judge Thomas J. Whelan for the continuance in light of Chief Judge Larry Burns’ June 11 order extending “the judicial emergency” amid the coronavirus pandemic an extra 30 days.“In order to protect public safety and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, the parties again jointly request that Margaret Hunter’s sentence be continued … until August 10, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.,” said the motion filed Monday.
Earlier dates for Hunter’s sentencing on one count of conspiracy had been Sept. 16, Dec. 2, April 6-7, May 4 and June 8.
The August date means her sentencing would come more than a year after she changed her plea to guilty June 13, 2019, to using campaign credit cards on family vacations, restaurant and bar tabs, clothes and other frivolous expenses over the course of several years.
It’s also two years since their original indictment, just months before the November 2018 election where the Republican incumbent edged Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar.
Whelan is expected to grant the motion for Margaret Hunter, who like her husband has been free on bond.
Duncan Hunter is set to surrender Jan. 4, 2021, to serve an 11-month sentence.
— Ken Stone (@KenStoneMedia) June 26, 2020
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