Wednesday, March 25, 2009
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Suspended NFL star Michael Vick has left a federal lockup in Kansas, apparently bound for Virginia to appear at a bankruptcy hearing next week.
Fall from grace Downhill fast: Five years ago, Michael Vick was a role model to millions. Now he makes news when he leaves federal prison. Who else has endured such a fall from grace? Check out our list of athletes you don't want to be.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons Web site showed Wednesday that Vick was no longer at the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan. It listed his status as "in transit."
It was not clear when he left, or where he was. But two weeks ago, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Frank Santoro demanded that Vick to testify at an April 2 hearing in Newport News about whether his Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan should be confirmed. Another judge issued a court order directing federal marshals to bring the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback to Virginia for the hearing.
Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Victoria Joseph said bureau policy prohibits disclosure of the prisoner's destination until after he arrives. Vick's attorneys did not immediately return phone messages left by The Associated Press.
Vick is serving 23 months for bankrolling a dogfighting conspiracy. He is eligible to move into home confinement no earlier than May 21 and is scheduled to be released from custody on July 20.
Vick will likely be kept in a southeastern Virginia jail until the hearing, but it wasn't known which one. Newport News Sheriff Gabe Morgan said he had not been notified that Vick would be staying in the city jail, but it was possible Vick and federal marshals would show up unannounced.
The judge overseeing Vick's bankruptcy case rejected the idea of allowing testimony by video hookup, saying he needed Vick in the courtroom so he could assess his demeanor and credibility.
Vick's plan for paying his creditors is based largely on his intention to resume his NFL career. Vick was suspended indefinitely after his 2007 indictment, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will review Vick's status after he is released.
The Falcons still hold the contract rights to Vick but have said they will try to trade him. Vick's bankruptcy plan would allow him to keep the first $750,000 of his annual pay. After that, a percentage would go to his creditors based on a sliding scale.