Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Tax Day warning?!? Or what could have been of Reynolds legacy?

If I didn’t know better, I’d think the federal government staged the return of one-time Congressman Mel Reynolds on Monday just to try to scare the rest of us into complying with federal laws concerning the income tax.

REYNOLDS: Back in the U.S. of A.
For we’re approaching the deadline by which the American public is expected to acknowledge our incomes and just how much our tax obligation is (and also to pay up any debt owed, if that is the case).

FOR THOSE OF us who might be inclined to think that no one would miss it if their return wasn’t amongst the millions that the Internal Revenue Service will have to go through, Reynolds becomes the prime example of how to get caught

For it seems the former representative from the far South Side and surrounding suburbs is facing criminal charges for what federal officials say was his failure to even file income tax returns from 2009 to 2012.

He doesn’t have much of an income these days. I’m sure he’ll offer up some grandiose attempt at justifying his behavior when he goes on trial next month in U.S. District Court.

But Reynolds, whose case has been pending for over a year, has missed recent court appearances. Officials admit there was actually a 10-day time period in which they couldn’t account for where Mel was physically.

THAT LED TO an arrest warrant being issued by a federal judge demanding Reynolds’ arrest. That warrant was served on Monday.

For it seems that Reynolds was out of the country. In South Africa, to be exact. It seems one of his daughters is ill and undergoing medical treatment there. He says that’s why he wasn’t in court in Chicago.

As it turns out, upon arriving back in the United States at Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, he was picked out of the returning masses at the airport, and placed under arrest.

He had to appear before a federal magistrate in Atlanta, who ultimately decided to accept the fact he was back in the U.S. of A. and not impose any additional penalties.

IN THEORY, REYNOLDS could have been ordered held in federal custody between now and May 5 – the date upon which his trial is scheduled to begin. Or he could have been ordered to post a significant bond to provide further incentive for Mel to show up in court for his trial.

I don’t know what to think of Reynolds’ latest predicament – other than to say it shows further evidence of a man who, despite his Ivy League education and Rhodes Scholar credentials is one of those kinds of people who is just a screw-up in life.

And that it adds to the list of laughable moments we have of the man we once thought was the significant step up from political people such as one-time Congressman Gus Savage.

Just think of the lotto or peach panties. You’re either smirking at the memory of Reynolds, or else you’re a snot-nosed punk kid who’s too young to remember what happened between the congressman and his one-time teenaged admirer.

ALTHOUGH THE FACT is that it is the latter round of criminal charges that came up in federal court in Chicago (bank fraud and deceiving FEC investigators for improper use of campaign funds) are the ones that are the more serious blot on Reynolds’ legacy.

Not being able to file tax returns for several years only adds to the impression of a man whose lengthy political career (he was only a member of Congress for 2 ½ years) we, the people, were seriously spared.

Just think what could have been accomplished if he had been a government official for a significant length of time.

Certainly more than a horror story of how the federal government really will go after you if you think it isn’t worth your while to file that tax return – which this year won’t be due until Monday instead of Friday.


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