Ex-Reynolds CEO asks for more time in court competency hearing

The former chief executive of Kettering auto dealer services firm Reynolds and Reynolds is asking a federal court in Texas for more time to file expert reports on the matter of his competency to stand trial on tax charges.

The matter is part of a federal case against Robert Brockman, an effort to determine whether Brockman is competent to participate in a trial in what some observers have said is the biggest tax case in U.S history.

Defense attorneys maintain that Brockman is dealing with health issues.

U.S. District Judge George Hanks had ordered a hearing on Brockman’s competency to be held on Tuesday. Hanks had written that “there is reasonable cause to believe that the defendant may presently be suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or to assist properly in his defense.”

In an email dated Wednesday, attorneys for Brockman asked the court to discuss a request to extend by eight weeks a deadline for the filing of reports “in light of his (Brockman’s) recent hospitalizations and current health condition.”

A section of the email from Brockman’s defense team is blacked out or redacted, followed by this sentence: “Based on discussions with a geriatric psychiatrist retained by the defense, the defense submits that these medical events compel that additional time be allowed for further medical examinations relating to competency.”

Brockman is 80. The defense email says he has been hospitalized three times since mid-March.

And in what appears to be a dispute over how the government’s position was represented in a joint filing, a July 1 letter from a government attorney in the case says a redacted portion of a filing said this about why the court should view the request for an eight-week continuance with “skepticism.”

“The court designated three experts to evaluate the claim [of incompetency] and all three found him (Brockman) competent, with two of the three finding malingering. After receiving these reports, defendant now asks to delay this case again so that experts he retained can conduct evaluations that are not subject to timing-related criticism (never mind whether such delay will subject court-ordered examinations to timing-related criticism),” wrote Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorney Christopher Magnani.

Magnani added: “The allegation that the government is gratuitously publicizing information is particularly off-base in light of the nature of the proceedings at issue.

“It was defendant who put his medical condition at issue when he claimed that he could not be prosecuted and sought a hearing to determine his competency in a motion with over 100 pages of his unredacted medical records,” he added.

He writes also: “The government’s (or any opposing party’s) right to have its position fairly and accurately presented in what purports to be a joint filing is so obvious that is does not warrant citation. The defendant’s desire to keep unfavorable information from view does not hold a candle to these other rights.”

Messages were sent to Magnani and defense attorney Jason Varnado Thursday.

Brockman stepped down as CEO of Reynolds & Reynolds in November 2020. Former Reynolds President and Chief Operating Officer Tommy Barras assumed that role.

“The allegations made by the Department of Justice focus on activities Robert Brockman engaged in outside of his professional responsibilities with Reynolds & Reynolds,” a spokesperson for Reynolds and Reynolds said last year. “The company is not alleged to have engaged in any wrongdoing, and we are confident in the integrity and strength of our business.”

About the Author