John Liu aide hospitalized; trial on hold
A federal judge disclosed Tuesday that an aide to city Comptroller John Liu who is charged with illegal fundraising has been involuntarily committed to a hospital for psychiatric problems, placing his upcoming trial in limbo.
The aide, fundraiser Xing Wu "Oliver" Pan, and Liu campaign treasurer Jenny Hou are charged with conspiring to use straw donors to boost Liu's mayoral campaign. The trial was supposed to start Monday.
U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said it isn't clear when Pan will be out of the hospital, or whether he currently meets the legal standard for competency to stand trial.
Sullivan asked for a report from Pan's doctors by Friday, and said that unless Pan makes a quick recovery the trial will be put off until April 15.
Pan's attorney, Irwin Rochman, said his client is "coherent" and able to converse intelligently.
Rochman refused to say whether Pan was committed because of concerns about suicide, but he said facing trial has been "tough" on Pan.
Liu, a Democrat, has not been accused of wrongdoing.