Former auto mogul Denny Hecker is still in an Illinois prison.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed Friday that one of Hecker’s attorneys misspoke this week when she said Hecker had been released from a prison in Illinois to a halfway house in Minnesota and was scheduled to get his own apartment soon.
Barbara May, Hecker’s former bankruptcy attorney, said Tuesday and again on Thursday that Hecker called her Tuesday and told her he was in the halfway house. The call was not collect, as is the procedure at federal prisons, so she had no reason to doubt his story, she said.
Hecker has served seven years of a 10-year sentence for defrauding auto lenders and the bankruptcy court. His official release date is July 2018, which makes him eligible to be moved to a halfway house anytime between now and then. He had told friends he believed it would be in October.
A Bureau of Prison spokesman confirmed on Friday that Hecker is still in the federal prison in Pekin, Ill.
Hecker’s defense attorney Bill Mauzy said Hecker’s release to a halfway house is now “uncertain” because of the “misinformation provided by former lawyers of Mr. Hecker, who lacked knowledge of the specifics of Mr. Hecker’s custodial status and prematurely commented to the press.”
“Hecker had been told he was to be placed in pre-release custody at a halfway house in Minneapolis, [but] he has now been told the placement is not available at this time,” Mauzy said. “On the day of his scheduled transfer to the halfway house and after media reports, Mr. Hecker was told that the halfway house no longer had the resources to accommodate him, and the attention he would bring.”
Mauzy said Hecker was notified of the Bureau of Prison’s decision either Tuesday or Wednesday.
Bureau of Prison officials declined to comment about Hecker’s eventual transfer to a halfway house. “For privacy reasons, we do not disclose specific details of an inmate’s release,” the spokesman said.
For May’s part, she said on Friday that she did not lie. She said Hecker had called her several times in the past week.
“I don’t know what to tell you,” May said. “I just know what my client told me. Obviously something political has happened here, and someone’s toes got stepped on. Apparently [Hecker] crossed someone and was not supposed to tell someone he was out. And by god, he went back.”
Whenever Hecker is released from prison, he has no current plans of re-entering the business world, Mauzy said.
“Mr. Hecker looks forward to reuniting with his children once he is released and enjoying his freedom,” he said.