Mike Chmiel Reprimanded in Bond Hearing Disciplinary Case

Judge Michael Chmiel

In a 49-page decision by the Illinois Courts Commission, McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Michael Chmiel received a reprimand.

After laying out the facts of Count 1 of the case involving the emergency bond hearing for David Miller, brother of Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller, the Commission concluded,

“Convening a special bond hearing at the request of a friend for the friend’s brother could create an appearance with the general public that a social relationship or private interest prompted the hearing. Finally, respondent himself conceded that his conduct, in retrospect, created the appearance of impropriety.

“Therefor, we conclude the Board has met its burden of proof with respect to establishing the appearance of impropriety by responde3nt in holding a bond hearing on June 16, 2007.

“As to whether respondent committed an actual impropriety by conducting the special hearing, we conclude the Board has not established the charge by clear and convincing evidence. The issue here is not what the public perceived but whether the Board has established by clear and convincing evidence that respondent’s relationship with Robert Miller influenced the judge’s conduct that day.”

The decision points out that Tom Carroll of the State’s Attorney’s Office knew of the way the request for a bond hearing had been initiated and had no objection to participating.

“In light of the above, we conclude the Board has not established that an act of impropriety occurred in setting the $10,000 bond for David Miller.”

Count 2 had to do with Judge Chmiel engaging in ex parte communications in which Chmiel said that he just discussed “only the logistics of scheduling the special bond hearing and did not discuss the merits nor substance of the felony charge against David Miller.”

The conclusion:

“:…we hold that the Board has failed to present clear and convincing evidence to sustain a claim against respondent…The record contains no evidence that the ex parte communications with Robert Miller and respondent had any impact on respondent’s ruling concerning the setting of bond for David Miller, or affected the overall outcome of the case.”

Count 3 involved the charge that Judge Chmiel violated judicial ethics by “making false statements to and misleading the Board.”

The charge involved whether Chmiel

  • “lied when he said Rebecca Lee (defendant Miller’s niece and attorney) had called him about holding the special bond hearing,”
  • “lied or attempted to mislead through his omission to tell the Board that the first information he had about David Miller’s arrest was from Robert Miller, not Rebecca Lee,”
  • “lied or attempted to mislead through his omission to tell the Board that he told Robert Miller about the possibility of a special bond hearing,”
  • “lied or attempted to mislead the Board into believing his relationship with Robert Miller had deteriorated,” and
  • “lied to attempted to mislead the Board when he reported an estrangement between Robert and David Miller.”

“Did the Board prove by clear and convincing evidence that respondent lied at the October 12th appearance when he stated that (a) Rebecca Lee had called him and (b) had asked him to hold a special bond hearing?” the decision asks.

“Considering all the evidence available to us, we conclude that it did not.”

“Did the Board prove by clear and convincing evidence that respondent lied at the October 12th appearance when he stated that (a) described the nature of his relationship with Robert Miller after he assumed the bench and (b) described the quality of their relationship after the Millers failed to support Marie Chmiel’s bid to become county auditor?”

“Considering all the evidence available to us, we conclude that it did not.”

“Did the Board prove by clear and convincing evidence that respondent lied at the October 12th appearance when he testified in October 2007 that the relationship between Robert Miller and David Miller had been one of estrangement for many years?”

“Considering all the evidence available to us, we conclude that it did not.”

“Did the Board prove by clear and convincing evidence that respondent lied or attempted to mislead through his omission to tell the Board about his phone conversation with Robert Miller about 12:30 on June 16, 2007?”

“Considering all the evidence available to us, we conclude that it did not.”

The conclusion of the decision:

“For the foregoing reasons, it is the judgment of the Commission that the conduct of respondent in holding a bond hearing on June 16, 2007 created the appearance of impropriety and warrants the imposition of reprimand. NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby ordered that respondent is reprimanded.”


Comments

Mike Chmiel Reprimanded in Bond Hearing Disciplinary Case — 2 Comments

  1. He is above the law, don’t you know.He can rule on everyone else but when it comes to him those who rule on him said heh, thats alright you did no wrong and if something like this happens again, do not worry nothing will happen to you judge, after all laws are for other people not you. Remember people this is ILLINOIS LAND OF CORRUPTION as was just proven again.

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