The two daily Heralds, both of which have courthouse reporters, have been covering a reprise of the Republican primary election campaign for McHenry County State’s Attorney between incumbent Lou Bianchi and challenger Dan Regna.
Bianchi got 56.7%.
Among other charges brought forth by Regna and his proxies McHenry County Treasurer Bill LaFew and Daily Herald ex-columnist Amy Mack, then and now in charge of interviewing McHenry County candidates, was that Bianchi used office resources in his re-election campaign.
From what I have read, any evidence obtained came from within Bianchi’s office and the indictment of former secretary Amy Dalby, who is now a student at Northern Illinois University, is the latest act in the ongoing play.
The indictment, not brought by Bianchi’s office, but by a special prosecutor, charges official misconduct twice, the second of which is quoted below:
“That between June and July, 2006, in McHenry County, State of Illinois, Amy Dalby committed the offense of OFFICIAL MISCONDUCT (emphasis in the original) in that she, in her official capacity as an employee of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, with the intent to obtain a personal advantage for herself or another, she performed an act in excess of her lawful authority, to wit: the removal of computer files or data without the authority of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office of the County of McHenry, in violation of Chapter 720 ILCS 5/333(e).”
In addition, she is charged with one count of theft and two counts of computer tampering.
Saturday afternoon, Bianchi offered the following statement:
STATEMENT from LOUIS BIANCHI UPON READING INDICTMENT OF AMY DALBY
“Our office computers contain extremely sensitive material, including information on confidential informants, undisclosed investigative material and privileged communication between attorney and client.
“In the wrong hands, such information could impede important law enforcement investigations, degrade public safety, and jeopardize pending civil litigation involving the County.
“When our office learned that a computer may have been compromised, we immediately acted.
“We confirmed, through a forensics computer expert that indeed content had been removed from an office computer.
“The State’s Attorney’s Office then petitioned the court to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate this matter and to take action as he deemed appropriate.
“We will not comment further because the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office was not involved in the investigation of this matter or any indictments.
“We do, however, reject the notion that this investigation was politically motivated.
“The investigation was initiated upon learning of a potential crime and acting upon that knowledge. That is what we do on a daily basis in the State’s Attorney’s Office in order to protect the citizens of McHenry County.”
The investigation was conducted by the Illinois State Police.