State’s Attorney Fends Off Special Prosecutor to Probe whether Sheriff Nygren Used Public Resources for Campaign
Sheriff Keith Nygren won the day in McHenry County Court today as Associate Judge Thomas Meyer pretty much dismissed Zane Seipler’s case seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate whether the Sheriff used public resources to advance his campaign.
McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Donald Leist successfully argued that a special prosecutor should not be appointed to investigate the possibility of such behavior.
Mention was made repeatedly by Seipler attorney Blake Horwitz that Special Prosecutor Henry Tonigan indicted State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi on similar charges.
“The judge said based on the facts before him, there’s nothing there,” Leist said, summarizing the decision.
Judge Thomas Meyer did allow Seipler attorney Blake Horwitz 35 days to submit an amended complaint, if he and his client so desired.
After about fifteen minutes in his chambers following the conclusion of the court session, Meyer said, “…allegations contained (in the filing) do not adequately allege a conflict that I’m required to appoint a special prosecutor.”
He made the same finding concerning whether a special prosecutor should be named as a result of an impropriety or an appearance of an impropriety that would result if the State’s Attorney should decide to follow up on the allegations.
Meyer was active in questioning Horwitz’ claims about a potential conflict of interest that Bianchi’s office might have, following up on a statute cited by Leist that outlined the duties of a state’s attorney. The judge pointed out that Horwitz’ arguments were “inconsistent with the language of the statute.”
The judge gave short shrift to the claim that Bianchi and Nygren were political allies. (“Counsel has implicitly conceded there isn’t a political alliance, except both are Republicans.”)
There was no mention of the supplemental filing of the Monday before last which cited December 15th revelations from a deposition from Deputy Scott Milliman. They were made in the Federal Court case Seipler has filed against the Sheriff’s Department for wrongful termination.
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Read the motion to dismiss here.