Dismissal of Special Prosecutors Tonigan & McQueen for Incompetence Requested, ARDC Complaint Possible

Attorney Terry Ekl explains the motions which those seeking to intervene in the case and dismiss the Special Prosecutors for incompetence stand behind. From left to right are Bob Borchert, Johan and Ria Reckamp and Anthony Scimeca.

Six citizens represented by McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s Defense Counsel Terry Ekl have asked to be interveners in Judge Gordon Graham’s secret supervision of Special Prosecutors Henry Tonigan and Thomas McQueen.

Former Circuit Judge Henry Tonigan

Former U.S. Attorney Thomas McQueen

The six, all supporters of Bianchi, are pointing out in their court filing that state statute requires that special prosecutors be competent.

And that Tonigan and McQueen were incompetent.

Read what Rockford Judge Joseph McGraw said while rendering his oral decision.

The six complaining citizens are

  • Mary Alger of Crystal Lake
  • Bob Borchert of Crystal Lake
  • Thomas Crane of Woodstock
  • Ria and John Reckamp of Crystal Lake
  • Anthony Scimeca of Wonder Lake

Borchert, the Reckamps and Scimeca were at the press conference in front of the Courthouse’s main entrance.

Bob Borchert speaks with John and Ria Rackamp listen.

Borchert, a former FBI Agent and current Republican Precinct Committeeman in Crystal Lake sat through the trial. He noted that there was never a directed verdict in any of his cases.

Why was he such a strong supporter of Bianchi?

“Lou restored my faith in attorneys” in a case Bianchi handled for Borchert’s wife.

Borchert said the case against Bianchi was “a witch hunt” initiated when they “found out they couldn’t control him.”

The “they” was not identified.

“I thought this was a fishing expedition,” John Reckamp said, adding that he objected to the expense.

Anthony Scimeca

Scimeca, an elected member of the Greenwood-Alden-Hebron Fire Protection District, stated it was the “patriotic” thing to do.

He said he wanted to make sure “the system stays accountable to itself and the citizens (so) that none of us is held to a different a different standard.”

Terry Ekl would not share the motions for his clients to intervene in the case and for the unsealing of the case that he was about to file, but it was as thick, if not thicker, than his successful written motion for a directed verdict.

Ekl was unwilling to share the multi-page document he was filing with the Circuit Court because the case has been sealed by Judge Graham, but he did urge news media to join him in seeking to unseal the case.

Ekl was in full attack mode.

“There never was any basis for bringing the case.”

The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Northwest Herald, Daily Herald, First Electric Newspaper and McHenry County Blog covered the press conference, so you will have lots of takes on it.

Ekl charged the prosecutors with starting with a conclusion–that Bianchi would be indicted–and then looking for a reason.

“They did everything they could to find a reason to indict Lou Bianchi, (they were) acting in bad faith.”

Asked about criticism of the motions being filed–with Bianchi’s knowledge–Ekl said, “Lou’s enemies can make any accusations they wish.”

One of those is Sheriff Keith Nygren, the other Republican Party law enforcement officer in the courthouse.

After the press conference, Fox News interviewed Terry Ekl.

Nygren’s office refused permission for cameras to be brought into the second floor of the courthouse, where the press conference was first scheduled.

Not official business may have been the excuse.

But that possibility brought to mind how anyone is allowed to hold a press conference in the press room at the State Capitol.

Eck expressed no resentment, however, to having to make his presentation outside in the wind.

Ekl told of the approximately one million pieces of paper produced during the discover phase of the trial.

Terry EklHow bad was the case?

“Twenty-one of twenty-two counts were found defectively pled.

“In all twenty-two (Judge Joesph McGraw) found lack of evidence.

“That means the case should have never been brought,” Ekl said.

“(The directed verdict was) an absolute slap at the competency of the prosecutors.”

Referring to the Quest forensic computer expert as”an alleged computer expert,” Ekl charged he added nothing to the trial, but charge for 345 hours at $250 per hour.

Here are the bills that have been made public so far. They are from the investigators that Tonigan hired, a firm called Quest International. $225,000 with bills for several months not yet submitted.

Elk said there were overcharges and double billing.

When I asked Special Prosecutor Tonigan how much he was billing an hour, I got a “No comment.”

When I asked how much Tonigan should be paid, he referenced the State’s Attorney’s salary, which works out to $80 per hour.

Ekl though some addition amount per hour would be appropriate to cover overhead.

In 1999, Ekl got paid $125 an hour in the DuPage Seven case.

In seeking the Special Prosecutors’ dismissal, Ekl suggested that an employee of another State’s Attorney’s Office could be brought it at no expense to taxpayers.

Two other tidbits came up:

  • One had to do with whether unnamed lawyers had assisted in the case. If they were paid, unsealing the bills would indicate that, Ekl thought. “I can almost guarantee you that there are lawyers working on this case that are not Special Prosecutors.”
  • The second came when I asked if this could lead to an ARDC (Attorney’s Registration and Disciplinary Commission) complaint. “It could. It’s possible.”

Asked Bianchi’s reaction to the filing:

“He’s as concerned as anyone else at the county’s being ripped off.”


Dismissal of Special Prosecutors Tonigan & McQueen for Incompetence Requested, ARDC Complaint Possible — 11 Comments

  1. “Priest” how have you been?

    The “Kids” on Sesame Street miss you!

  2. Here ya go citizens of McHenry County. Count how much the “Thugs of McHenry County” have been costing you. The link below will help you find the numbers.

    Mr. Bianchi is no criminal, WE KNOW who the real criminal is….. Even an Active Duty Deputy Sheriff has told you who it is.

    Where is Kevin Lyon’s lately. As he smeared a Good Deputy Sheriff who told the TRUTH, as he smeared a citizen who told you the truth, as he smeared a Former deputy who told you the truth.

    How about it Lyons and NW Herald, how about a “Full” front page story on the “truth” this time. Can’t figure out how to structure “Damage Control?”

    I can tell you how. Print the “Truth!”

    There is a legal “Tsunami” coming to McHenry County and States Attorney Bianchi will be appreciated that much more in 2012 when the real information about this good man will be shined upon he and his record of service to McHenry County.

    Not one time during this entire farce and witch hunt, did Mr. Bianchi ‘hide’ away in other states, never did he shy away from the very people he promised to serve…..and he certainly didn’t move to a little hideaway.

    Mr. and Mrs. Bianchi showed up at public outings, and showed humility and class all the way. They behaved as innocent people do.

    The “True” guilty can’t hide anywhere, anymore. We have you on “radar lock!”

    The following link depicts what McHenry County has been paying for, but, have yet to be told about it in the local paper.


    Thank you to the citizens who are funding this investigation of those who brought about this “Circus” and rape of the tax payers . The rest of us who are “Made as hell and will not going to take it anymore,” can show their support by pushing via public forums, for a Federal Investigation from the US DOJ.

  3. In the last couple of years our states attorney and his political adversaries have exchanged salvos of special prosecution that have done no one in the county any good.

    For all of us that have hopes that local politics goes back to convincing voters to cast votes instead of these tantrums in the court system this is only another escalation.

    Fire prosecutors because the brought a case that the court system decides was against someone eventually found not guilty? Really?

    I truly hope at some point sanity returns to county politics and someone emerges with some common sense and leadership and stops this continued escalation.

  4. This was a pathetic display. The witnesses for the prosecution became witnesses for the defense. They did not do their homework. This was strictly political. Proper procedural rules were broken. This was like a wild west lynching. They did not even have the correct case laws. These prosecutors should never be practicing law.

    There are actual campaign violators that should be investigated and properly. This was not one of them.

  5. Awwwwww. I missed you too BigBird. I’ve been checking in in very brief moments as I have been evangelizing hard for the past month but not commenting.

    I watch this proceeding with great interest. Mr. Bianchi, at one point a while back, said he will always remember what it is to be wrongfully accused and have your good name smeared. My only thought in the moment I read this was for all those Mr. Bianchi, by default or overt action, has allowed to be hurt through the implementation of poor policy. I pray this good man has realized there are consequences to every action and his, as the judge admonished him in court, need to be well above reproach or he is at risk for awful scrutiny. I hope once his next court date passes he will be able to walk out of court, breathe in free air for the first time in years and he will, in fact, proceed to implement the duties of his office fully without divestiture of his responsibilities to underlings who have faulty agendas.

    May God bless us all in McHenry County as we struggle mightily with all the many difficult issues brought to us. As Lou has shown us with his own struggle we will all likely make it through a little worse for the wear but better, more empathetic people for it. We are still a wonderful county filled with salt of the earth folks. We’ll pull through. Have a great day BigBird and everyone. I’m always watching….

  6. I am not a supporter of Lou Bianchi or his office. I know we as citizens deserve better for our States Attorney. My prayer is that someone really good runs for States Attorney and cleans out this office and helps clean up the county to wherever it needs cleaning.

    Now that Illinois is really broke we can only hope that people will get involved in what is happening with politicians in our county, state and country. We will never improve if people don’t get involved.

    We need a better system to REMOVE States Attorneys from office when we see problems with their behavior. At the same time we also need to protect those who try and harm a good States Attorney too.

    But I for one will be very happy when Lou is out of office. He never should have been elected.

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