IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
October 1, 2008
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
BRUCE E. WALKER, DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge
On November 15, 2007, Defendant Bruce E. Walker entered a plea of "guilty" in this matter. On November 30, 2007, the undersigned Judge ordered that Walker's recognizance bond be revoked, and Walker was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshals pending sentencing.
Despite his current incarceration, Walker is employed by the United States Air Force as a Master Sergeant, and has served in the military for twenty-six years. The Air Force is aware that Walker is currently awaiting sentencing pursuant to his November 15, 2007 guilty plea in this case.
The Court has twice granted Walker furlough to attend hearings and re-enlist while he awaited final separation from the Air Force with retirement benefits (See Docs. 23 &29). At the time of the last Order, the Administrative Discharge Hearing Board unanimously recommended that Walker "be separated with an Honorable Discharge" and receive full retirement benefits.
However, on August 7, 2008, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force disapproved Walker's application for retirement stating that "Retirement at this time is not considered to be in the best interest of the Air Force" (See Doc. 38-2). In light of this, Walker now moves the Court to grant him one final 48-hour furlough so that he may file a Congressional Appeal, which is permitted under Air Force Regulations (Doc. 38). Walker states that he must file this appeal personally. In order to do so, Walker explains that he must first obtain his personnel and medical records from Scott Air Force Base.
The Government objects to Walker's motion (see Doc. 40). The Government argues that this Court has provided Walker furloughs so that he could obtain a final decision from the Secretary of the Air Force with respect to his retirement status. Now that Walker has obtained a final decision, the Government argues that the instant request for furlough should be denied and sentencing should be advanced on the docket. Furthermore, the Government argues that Walker has made no showing as to why he cannot have a representative obtain his records from the Air Force on his behalf.
Having thoroughly considered the Government's response, the Court GRANTS Walker's motion for furlough (Doc.38) over the Government's objections and IMPOSES the following terms and conditions. The Court DIRECTS that Walker be released from jail on furlough at 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 14, 2008. Further, the Court DIRECTS Walker to return to the jail no later than 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 15, 2008. Walker shall arrange for his own transportation to and from the jail, and shall stay overnight with his wife, Rosie Spivey.
The Court also provides that this furlough is granted for the limited purpose of permitting Walker to access his medical and personnel records at Scott Air Force Base and to file a Congressional Appeal regarding the denial of his retirement benefits. Aside from travel related to this limited purpose, Walker shall remain at all times at Spivey's residence. Under no circumstances shall Walker leave St. Clair County, Illinois, except as necessary to travel to and from the place of his incarceration in Carlyle, Illinois (which is located in Clinton County).
Walker shall take care to conclude all remaining business relating to his retirement benefits, as this Court will not permit any further motions for furlough.
However, the Court's business is not at its end, as the Government's request to advance Walker's sentencing is well-taken. Accordingly, the Court hereby RESETS Walker's sentencing for 10:00 a.m. on October 31,2008.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
MICHAEL J. REAGAN United States District Judge
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