Island Lake payroll trial delayed again

For the second time this year, a host of last-minute issues raised on the day jury selection was to begin forced a delay Monday in the Sharon Hyde theft case.

Hyde, 60, the wife of former Island Lake Mayor Thomas Hyde, is charged with collecting $114,000 in pay for hours she did not work as director of a village-run Creative Playtime day care center during a 10-year period.

After informing Lake County Circuit Judge Fred Foreman last Thursday they would be ready to proceed with the trial this week, both the defense and prosecution teams exchanged information about the case after courts had closed for the week.

In addition, Hyde’s defense asked Monday that Foreman issue a subpoena that would force the Daily Herald to reveal the identity of a person who has posted online comments about the Hyde case on the newspaper’s website.

Waukegan attorney Charles Smith and Assistant State’s Attorney Christen Bishop told Foreman they both had received information about the case from their opponents that should have been passed on much earlier.

The delay caused complications in their preparation for the trial, both attorneys said, and could change the nature of their presentation of the evidence.

Foreman denied a request from Smith to dismiss the charges against Hyde because of the delay, but he did agree to postpone the start of the trial.

Smith charges in his motion seeking the identity of the Daily Herald commenter that the person is on the list of potential witnesses to be called against his client.

He said he needs the identity of the person confirmed, Smith said, “in order to fully explore the interest, bias and prejudice,” of the witness who Smith claims has indicated a strong bias against Hyde in the comments posted after news stories on the case.

An attorney for the Daily Herald contacted Bishop and said the newspaper intends to oppose the subpoena because it is overly broad in that it seeks all comments posted since the case against Hyde was filed in June 2009.

Foreman issued the subpoena, but said the newspaper would not be required to turn over any information to Hyde’s defense team until he hears arguments on the objection in a hearing set for May 9.

Foreman also ordered the parties to the case to return to court April 29 to schedule a new trial date, and indicated he had a preference for sometime in June or July.