Based on what happened at the deposition of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi in Zane Seipler’s effort to get a Court-appointed Special Prosecutor to investigate whether Sheriff Keith Nygren used taxpayer dollars to advance his political campaign, Seipler attorney Blake Horwitz has again asked for sanctions.
He alleges that Sheriff Keith Nygren, having been “strictly admonished that [he] should avoid any disruptive behavior, including the raising of an eyebrow or comment under his breath or he will be immediately excused from the deposition,” did more.
Pointing out the Court will soon receive a transcript and audio file, Horwitz writes that “this Court will have occasion to witness a disruptive and highly unprofessional Mr. Gummerson.
“Sheriff’s counsel used every possible illegitimate tactic to interrupt the legal process.
“Every concern this Court address 9by way of admonishment to the Sheriff) and every argument that the State’s Attorney presented (relative to the integrity of the Court system) was vitiated by the Sheriff’s Counsel.”
Horwitz says the “conduct was foreshadowed” by Gummerson’s “having advised Petitioner’s counsel to ‘Shut up.'”
Horwitz argues that the Sheriff’s counsel was “on notice,” yet “followed neither the rules nor order of Court,” then points to a remedy.
The remedy cited calls for the offending party be debarred from filing any other pleading relating to any issue to which the refusal or failure relates,” among other disqualifications and/or “an appropriate sanction, which may include an order to pay to the other party…the amount of reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the misconduct…”
Seipler’s lawyer asks that all responses to Gummerson’s questioning of Bianchi, plus reasonable attorney’s fees.
“The prosecution of a sitting Sheriff is a serious matter. Attorneys need not be relegated to children in a sandbox. Something must be done.”
Horwitz cites a case that says testimony can be barred “if a party unreasonably refuses to comply with the relevant discover rules…This can occur where the level of disregard is deliberate and pronounced.”
“The Sheriff’s initial motion to intervene was baseless. If his counsel’s participation is continued, the public will freely develop a cheap and devalued appreciation for McHenry County’s prosecutorial function and Court system: that Court orders can be rebuked and rank hostility (i.e., “Shut Up”) permitted.
“The State Attorney’s pre-deposition motion and this Court’s admonishment were enough. The only question becomes how much will be tolerated until something is done.”
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News on another motion tomorrow.