The jury deciding the fates of indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and four co-defendants was instructed Friday to start its deliberations over after a juror was dismissed for undisclosed reasons.
U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle delivered the news in open court around 10 a.m. He offered no details and instructed prosecutors and defense lawyers not to discuss the dismissal.
Fattah’s lawyers declined comment.
It’s unclear what impact this will have on when jurors will reach a verdict.
Deliberations began late Wednesday afternoon after a month of testimony. Lawyers spent part of Thursday afternoon having discussions behind closed doors.
The indictment covers a series of schemes allegedly hatched for personal and political gain.
In one, Fattah allegedly took an illegal $1 million loan for his failed bid for Philadelphia mayor, then stole federal and charitable donations to repay part of the loan.
Fattah is also accused of accepting bribes from a wealthy friend who wanted to become a U.S. ambassador; using campaign cash to pay off some of his son’s college loan debt; and encouraging a political consultant to set up a sham nonprofit so it could accept federal grants.