Last Thursday Special State’s Attorney Henry Tonigan filed a second indictment against McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.
Tonigan held a press conference about his grand jury’s four-day ago indictments today, but didn’t let me know it was to be held. (I assume he didn’t want me to ask questions about how much he was earning an hour, which he has thus far refused to reveal, along with submitting any itemized bills.)
Besides Bianchi, he also indicted two of his investigators, Ron Salgado and Michael McCleary. Salgado served as Bianchi’s campaign manager and the campaign manager of Tom Sanders when he ran against appointed Sheriff Keith Nygren in the late 1990’s.
Tonigan’s indictments question the discretion of Bianchi, charging him with having committed criminal acts in its exercise.
Here are the four counts:
Count 1 – Official Misconduct, a Class 3 Felony
Bianchi is accused of violating “Section 33-3(b) of Act 5 of Chapter 720” by “knowingly perform(ing) acts which he knew was forbidden by law to perform in connection with the Class X felony drug prosecution…of John Doe #1…known by Bianchi to be the nephew of Ronald Salgado, Chief Investigator of the State’s Attorney’s Office…Bianchi directed an Assistant State’s Attorney to reduce (the)…negotiated sentence from five to four years which he knew to violate:
- Equal Protection rights of similarly situated defendants, Illinois Constitution 1970, Article 1, Par. 2
Ethical requirements of candor to a tribunal, 2010 Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, Section 3.3(a)(1)
- Duty of a prosecutor to seek justice, 2010 Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, Section 3.8
- Ethical requirement that lawyers not engage in professional misconduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, 2010 Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, Section 8.4 (a) through (c).
Count 2 indicts Ron Salgado for Class 3 Felony for communicating to as Assistant State’s Attorney as a “non-lawyer” that his “nephew(‘s)” sentence should be reduced from five to four years.
Count 3 – Official Misconduct, Class 3 Felony
Bianchi is accused of “direct(ing) an Assistant State’s Attorney to meet with the victim in People v. John Doe #2 and offer her an apology from John Doe #2 in return for her dismissal of the pending criminal complaint knowing that John Doe #2, his family members including his attorney had all contributed to Bianchi’s political campaign which direction he knew to violate (the same references cited in Count 1.)”
Count 4 – Official Misconduct, Class 3 Felony
Bianchi is accused of “agree(ing) to recognizance bond in a felony theft case for…John Doe #3 who Bianchi said was his ‘nephew’ and that the Assistant State’s Attorney should continue the case until a first offender program was in place in McHenry County so John Doe #3 could have the benefit of that program.”
Same as in Counts 1 and 5.
Witnesses who appeared before the grand jury are listed:
- Thomas J. Carroll
- Jessica Carrier
- Kirk Chzanowski
- Christopher Harmon
- William Stanton
- Kurt Maznur
- Thomas Sullivan
- Robert Seigalski
- Demitri Tsilimigras
= = = = =
When McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi held his press conference to announce the First Offender Program, he used this example:
a man who rented a car and then rented to someone else to make some money to support his family and a shoplifter who stole not too much more than the $210 that qualifies for a felony arrest.
Could one of these cases refer to John Doe #3?
Bianchi’s attorney’s statement about the second indictment is here.
I’ll do a separate story on Michael McCleary’s indictment.