Transcript in Last Zane Seipler Wrongful Termination Court Hearing – Part 6

December 24th, McHenry County Blog ran the first part of the December 15, 2010, transcript of a Rockford hearing before Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney.

December 25th, the second part was published with the third installment published Sunday. Part 4 went up Monday and Part 5 Tuesday.

This is Part 6.

As that part of the transcript posted yesterday was ending, McHenry County Sheriff’s Department Attorney James Sotos was asking if he could respond and Federal Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney was agreeing. For context reasons, I repeat those two lines, which the next part of the transcript follows.

MR. SOTOS: Judge, can I respond to this —

THE COURT: Yeah, you sure can.

MR. SOTOS: — aspect of it? Because this is going to require a little bit of background. I’ll be as brief as I can.

You know, we conducted discovery because we took the court at its word back a year and a half ago when we were told we were supposed to do discovery by June of 2010. So, we did all of our depositions by June of 2010 with the exception of one that counsel kept canceling that was taken yesterday.

Then discovery started getting extended, and every time we came here on the eve of a discovery close, we were first told, well, now we have to do all this discovery into all of these different other deputies at the Sheriff’s Department and turn over all their personnel files, which we did, thousands and thousands of documents, which have not been mentioned ever since then.

The next time discovery was supposed to close we were told — counsel came in here and said, “They gave us false information in a spreadsheet. We found out that it was false. They’ve withheld information,” which we subsequently — at the time I didn’t know what to say because it was sprung on me. I said, “I don’t know if there’s anything inaccurate in there or not.” It turns out, and it’s in our response in the motion, there was nothing inaccurate with anything in the spreadsheet.

We provided exactly what was asked for, which were the racial profiling statistics, and I’m sure we’ll get to that at some point.

And then now when we’re on the close of discovery again, we have a whole new criminal enterprise theory involving Sheriff Nygren that he’s requesting to do discovery into. Now, that’s Jose Rivera, who he doesn’t allege is Sheriff Nygren’s business partner. He alleges that he is his partner in this coyote scheme and this kickback scheme and in these murder plots and all of this other stuff, which doesn’t have anything to do with this case.

And the fact that he says he has a Monell claim, I would direct the court to paragraph 72, I think it is, of his complaint where his Monell claim has about nine or ten different subparts, and they all say the same thing, that the sheriff’s department did not adequately monitor, discipline, investigate allegations of racial profiling and that they retaliated against Mr. Seipler when he did in a number of different ways. By taking him off the SWAT team, doing all the things they did that ultimately led to his termination. That’s it. That’s what his
Monell claim says.

So, for him to just say, well, I have a Monell claim, and that means that he — because we’re talking about a lot of discovery. If we are really going to be required to defend Sheriff Nygren on the allegations of Deputy Milliman that he was involved in some criminal conspiracy involving illegal trafficking of Hispanics over the last several years, that’s going to take a lot of work, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the lawsuit, Judge, and it doesn’t have anything to do with his Monell claim, either.

THE COURT: Well, I’ll let — it’s closer to the Monell claim than the lawsuit. Whether or not it really fits, I don’t know. But, counsel, you have to give me this. This has turned out not to be the garden variety lawsuit as far as 1983 is concerned. Every time I pick up this file, there’s something different that happens that I haven’t seen before in any file.

That’s why it’s drawn out.

MR. SOTOS: That’s because it comes up on the close of discovery. There’s this frenetic activity weeks before discovery closes, and then we’re in here defending entirely new allegations, and this —

THE COURT: What am I supposed to with somebody that misidentifies 140 individuals as Caucasian?

MR. SOTOS: Judge, I got —

THE COURT: Am I supposed to be happy with that?

MR. SOTOS: Well, Judge, you know what? I’m not happy with that, but that’s not — in the first place, we’re not even arguing about that, about him doing discovery on that. As far as that goes, he never — by the way, Judge, he never complained about that ever. That was something that we first had notice of during this case when we were doing the responses to discovery.

THE COURT: But he —

MR. HORWITZ: That’s a false statement.

THE COURT: Wait for me. Wait for me. But he has always said to me that this particular officer engaged in racial profiling, hasn’t he?

MR. SOTOS: No, Judge. The first time — the first time that he ever mentioned Bruketta was on July 22nd, 2008, which was after all of the alleged retaliation that he’s complaining about with the —

THE COURT: You’re talking about Seipler now?

MR. SOTOS: Seipler. The first time he mentioned Bruketta was when he was ordered to disclose the names of people who he thought were involved in racial profiling. He submitted a memo on July 22nd, 2008. That was the day after he had been placed on administrative leave as a result of the citizen complaint that he told people to switch seats and gave the ticket to a passenger.

THE COURT: Was Bruketta on the memo?

MR. SOTOS: He was on the memo, but, again, that was issued the day after the leave. And, by the way, Judge, as far as that goes, they looked into it. They didn’t have any reason to think that he was writing down the wrong race. That first came up within the last 45 days or so and they’re doing an investigation into that broader than just him. But that’s the first time that came up. So, that’s not even connected to his allegations in this case. But it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with this criminal conspiracy nonsense involving —

THE COURT: Okay. I got it.

But, counsel, look. I’m not going to let you go off on a year’s worth of discovery on Sheriff Nygren and whether or not he hired somebody to kill somebody in some location because that might show that he was trying to cover things up to fire your client. All right?

MR. HORWITZ: All right.

THE COURT: Now, I want to get the case done. Your client’s position is he made a legitimate complaint. He made it through legitimate authorities. What he said was true, and because of that in retaliation he got fired.

MR. HORWITZ: That is the core section 1983 First Amendment retaliation. That is the core concept of the case, yes, your Honor.

THE COURT: That’s it. It’s straightforward. It’s right there.

MR. HORWITZ: Well, that’s correct. That is a core aspect of the case.

THE COURT: Well, what else is there?

More tomorrow.


Transcript in Last Zane Seipler Wrongful Termination Court Hearing – Part 6 — 12 Comments

  1. Ok so now the transcript reads that Siepler was placed on leave after a citizens complaint about the whole citing passengers as drivers thing?

    And it clearly reads that he only complained about Bruketta after this complaint and was placed on leave?

    Does that not mean that he was the one retaliating?

    Or is he claiming the citizen that complained about his falsifying tickets was part of a conspiracy and proactively filed the complaint against him before Zane could file his complaint?

  2. The citizen complaint should be interesting.

    Was this person deposed and what did they have to say under oath?

    Experience has taught me that oath depositions can really change facts.

    I believe that there probably was a video of the encounter and the arbitrator most surely saw it.

  3. I was working with Zane when this whole thing was going down. He was talking about Bruketta long before he was put on leave. Everyone was talking about Bruketta. We all knew what Bruketta was doing.

    We just received training two months ago because they finally acknowleged what Zane was compalining about.

    Bruketta should be charged with 140 counts of perjury and fired. 140 that’s probably just the tip of the iceberg.

    Bruketta was given the K9 unit over at least 10 other deputies that never falsified anything.

    Bruketta also followed some girl around off duty and when she wouldn’t go out with him he wrote her tickets.

    Two days later.

    A complaint was filed but nothing happened to him.

    The Sheriff has to protect him because if he goes down so will the whole department for covering up all his racist traffic stops.

    Bruketta was also named in the Pavlin suit which rumor has will or has been settled. He struts around the office like he’s something special bragging about all his traffic stops.

    The guy got the K9 unit but prior to that never made a drug arrest. He’s a joke yet he thinks he’s supercop.

    Cops all over the county can’t stand the guy. I was at a multi-jurisdiction training event and all we did was make fun of Bruketta.

    I wonder how Bruketta will continue to be a cop when the public learns he falsified so many tickets.

    I remember when the Sheriff said Seipler could never be a cop again.

    Seems to me Bruketta is at least 140 times worse than Seipler.

    Plus Zane falsified a warning.

    Not a ticket.

    And warnings don’t mean anything. We all know that.

  4. The entire county was told about these allegations (not Milliman’s) as well as all the information that came out in the newspaper ad the day before the election.

    Now you have Deputy Milliman’s information added to the mix.

    You can say what you want but Deputy Milliman’s information is extremely creditable.

    You don’t have to believe me and many won’t, but I hope you will all agree where there’s smoke there’s fire.

    And if you look at the BGA’s investigstion (another agency that dropped the ball when the election was over) look at the ILL State Police investigation and the FBI investigation.

    Then there’s Jose Rivera thrown into the mix.

    And except for Milliman’s info the McHenry county voters had all this info and still re-elected Nygren.

    It just shows that the voters in McHenry County don’t care about anything outside their own little world of soccer games and homework and making the train on time.

    Can you say Marion Berry.

    So for those of us who still believe and care about the American Justice system we need to give a big THANK-YOU to Milliman, Siepler and Bateman and their attorneys for keep after the criminal enterprises of Your Sheriff Nygren, God knows the voters are too busy yelling at the soccer coaches to care about corruption.

  5. So the implications keep growing who all was Milliman suppose to murder? The thing that seems so odd here is that Nygren seems to allegedly kept going back to “rehire” him for murders even though he never carried through? Stretches believability a bit…

  6. Shadow Deputy, I could not agree with you more!

    Prior to the announcement of the K9 position in which Bruketta was chosen for, The K9 Supervisor had asked a nineteen year veteran and current K9 handler what the thoughts were on Bruketta.

    This Deputy spoke freely that Bruketta was to new to the department, and his background was not clearly known.

    The Deputy also indicated to the K9 Supervisor that Dep. Bruketta has a large number or traffic arrests against Hispanic drivers.

    After the interview for K9 handler was completed, the Veteran Deputy was informed that his interview was on the top of the list, however since he was friends with Deputy Milliman he will never obtain the next position as K9 Handler!

    After about a month had past, the K9 Supervisor had presented the veteran Deputy with a document which summarized the Veteran Deputy’s placement for the position of the next K9 handler.

    According to several sources, this document contained erroneous information about the Veteran Deputies statistics’, and never discussed or factored the date and times that the deputy was assigned to cover a patrol districts, the hours that the deputy was assigned to assist the Illinois State Police and the FBI with unrelated investigations.

    The Veteran Deputy /K9 Handler has never been suspended nor in the 19 years of service has he ever falsified a document, or taken a sick day!

    He was very devoted to his position as a K9 handler and respected by others in the K9 community.

    He told the truth, and for that he was retaliated against!

  7. “however since he was friends with Deputy Milliman he will never obtain the next position as K9 Handler”?

    ….Hey wait…You anti sheriff conspiracy theory folk have been telling us Milliman was part of the favored inside group up until his deposition a few weeks ago?

    every time this conspiracy theory gets added to it seems to add another layer of contrdiction.

    So which is it?

    Was Milliman a trusted confidant of the boss or the type of guy who you would be punished for being friends with?

  8. Butseriously, you are such a tool. Everybody knows Milliman was tight with the walrus from his start at the SO. Only recently has he apparently decided he no longer wants to be involved with the walrus’s activities. Hopefully Milliman can get an immunity deal for his testimony. I hear he has some video tapes. Time to make the popcorn.

  9. The Anti Nygren triad has been all over the place on Millimans relationship with Nygren…I’ve read claims they were bosom buddies until Milliman’s deposition…and then we read wild claims that Nygren threatened to squash him like a bug for not helping him cover up child abuse…and then we apparently hear these bizarre claims that Nygren was asking Milliman to execute a murder for him because they were so tight…and then we here claims a deputy was told he could never get a promotion because he was friends with Milliman…

    Oh and let’s not forget apparently a certain local blogger claimed this informant came to him via the Democrat Mahon for Sheriff campaign months after the fact…Just seems odd that a friend of the Mahon camp would report this to the campaign when he is so tight with Nygren…Then again seems odd that Nygren would hire a hitman who appears to be friends with the Mahon camp?

    Its all very bizarre and really seems to stretch credibility to anyone with common sense…

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