Oliver Pan, a former fundraiser for City Comptroller John Liu who is facing fraud charges, has been involuntarily committed, putting his trial on hold Tuesday with no clear sign of when it would resume. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
The fraud trial of City Comptroller John Liu's former campaign treasurer and a campaign fundraiser was put on indefinite hold Tuesday. A federal court judge said that day that the accused fundraiser, Oliver Pan, had been involuntarily committed for unspecified mental health reasons.
"The judges have directed that the doctors at the hospital where Mr. Pan is hospitalized give him a report on Mr. Pan's condition and that they have that report by Friday. That's exactly what the judge said," said Irwin Rochman, Pan's attorney.
The development puts the trial in limbo.
Both Pan and Jenny Hou, Liu's former treasurer, are accused of concocting a straw donor scheme to get over-the-limit campaign donations to the comptroller.
The trial was supposed to start this week. Pan was not in court on Tuesday, but Hou was.
"I just wish this trial could get started, that's all," Hou said.
The comptroller felt the same way.
"I hope everybody is OK and I hope the trial gets started as quickly as possible," Liu said. "The more information that comes out, the better it will be for everyone involved."
The case has dogged the comptroller as he mulls a run for mayor this year. Liu has not been implicated in any wrongdoing but he is on a witness list for Pan.
When Rochman was asked Tuesday if he still had plans of calling Liu as a witness, the attorney answered, "I can't talk to that."
Some of Liu's closest campaign aides will likely take the stand.
"There are apparently lots and lots of people on the witness list. I can't tell for sure everybody is going to be testifying but that's something for the courts to decide," Liu said.
If doctors report that Pan cannot stand trial in the near future, the trial may be pushed back to April, bringing it that much closer to the Democratic Party primary.