By TONY LEYS
Former meatpacking executive Sholom Rubashkin was released from the Dubuque County Jail this afternoon, a day after a federal judge granted him the right to post bail.
Rubashkin, who used to run the Agriprocessors plant in Postville, had been held without bail since November, when he was arrested on bank-fraud and immigration charges. Prosecutors wanted him to remain in jail, because they worried that he would flee the country if let out.
District Judge Linda Reade had ordered that he be released by Thursday morning, but defense lawyer Guy Cook said the release was moved up after prosecutors declined to appeal her bail decision. Cook said a New York group of supporters raised the $50,000 cash needed for a $500,000 bail bond.
Cook said Rubashkin would return to Postville today after flying to Cedar Rapids to meet with a probation agent and to be fitted with an electronic tracking device on his ankle.
Cook also said he planned later this week to request that Rubashkin’s September trial be moved out of Cedar Rapids. The case, which stems from an immigration raid at the plant in May, has drawn intense media coverage.