In looking over a copy of the deposition of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi in the case brought by former Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler asking for a Special Prosecutor to be named to probe whether Sheriff Keith Nygren used taxpayer money to advance his political campaign, the first thing I did was search for the key word.
What did I consider the “key word?”
That’s what Judge Thomas Meyer wanted to know.
Was Bianchi “available” to prosecute the Sheriff?
So I went to the only page where the word is mentioned, page 22. Below is most of what was said, certainly what I think was relevant:
Seipler attorney blake Horwitz: “During the time period when you’ve been state’s attorney for McHenry County, has your office ever investigated criminal conduct attributable—or allegations of criminal conduct attributable to Sheriff Nygren?”
Attorneys Donna Kelly, Bill Caldwell and Mark Gummerson objections
Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly, advising Bianchi in the deposition: “Don’t answer that question.”
Horwitz: “I think that’s going to hinder the issue because whether or not he’s able to is—The judge didn’t actually make it specific to this case ; but I don’t see how to get around it because the issue of criminal conduct, sort of the general concept the judge wants us to deal with versus the specific issues of this case, I have no desired to get into any kind of prior investigations in any way, shape or form. But a question of policy or availability is what’s at issue under this statute…
“And so my concern is that without an answer to that question, then the question will arise is there any way to test the concept of availability other than looking at the allegations in this case, i.e., cross-examination, you test the concept, you test the policy, test the rule, you test the decision. Or is it specific to this case? Is it personal? Something the Judge—These are the things the judge has inquired about, and it’s not my desire to get into it being personal. But I just want to put the issue to rest. That’s all I want to do.
“So my concern is that by instructing him not to answer the question and him not answering the question, it will prevent that issue from being tested and, therefore, we’re coming back again. If he doesn’t answer it, he doesn’t answer it….”
Nygren personal attorney Mark Gummerson: “I will object as to Mr. Horwitz’ thoughts (being entered into the deposition record).
= = = = =
Present McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, Zane Seipler attorney Blake Horwitz, plus attorneys Donna Kelly, representing Bianchi, Mark Gummerson, representing Keith Nygren personally, Bill Caldwell, representing McHenry County’s interests, plus Sheriff Keith Nygren and the man trying to get a Special Prosecutor appointed to probe whether he used taxpayer dollars on his campaign, former Deputy Sheriff and 2010 GOP primary candidate for Sheriff, Zane Seipler.
Part 2 tomorrow