This is the final section of a long article about the deposition of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi, primarily by former Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler.
Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.
Seipler has filed suit asking for a Special Prosecutor to be named to investigate whether Sheriff Keith Nygren used taxpayer dollars to advance his political campaign.
The court reporter was taking down what Bianchi and four attorneys said.
The attorneys were
- Blake Horwitz, Seipler’s attorney
- Donna Kelly, Bianchi’s advisor for the questioning
- Bill Caldwell, representing McHenry County interests
- Mark Gummerson, Nygren’s personal attorney
In addition, Nygren and Seipler were in the room.
Horwitz came up with this question: “…do you believe as State’s Attorney that to represent the Sheriff civily in civil cases while at the same time investigating the Sheriff for criminal activity would give rise to a conflict pursuant to Illinois law?”
Bianchi: “It may.”
Horwitz: “Okay. Can you explain what you mean by ‘may,’ please?”
Bianchi did not come up with a further explanation.
Horwitz: “What would be the nature, what is the nature of the conflict that could arise?”
Bianchi: “I can only explain it in terms of the petition that was filed…And I think I have given that answer several times.”
Another attempt to elicit more information from Bianchi resulted in this answer:
“Again, after I read the petition, I made no determination but I was concerned.
“We’ve had a great track record here.“We’ve won almost every case for the Sheriff. We’ve settled one or two at nominal, 2,000, 3,000. I don’t want to jeopardize that.
“I don’t want to make a decision.
“I don’t know what the judge would do.
“I don’t want to jeopardize our successful representation of the Sheriff in not only civil suits filed for him, in all those criminal cases, the murder cases, the traffic cases, the DUIs, all those cases we’ve represented. I don’t want to jeopardize that.
“The cost to the taxpayers and the bottom end should that ever happen could be millions of dollars.“
Horwitz: “Okay. I’m going to ask one more time; and if you’re unwilling to answer my question, I may ask the judge to…”
Bianchi: “I’m willing to answer any question.”
Horwitz: “I’m asking you if you can give me an example of what you understand as a conflict with regards to representing the Sheriff at the present time in civil cases and the pending petition to appoit a special prosecutor. What would the conflict be? What’s the conflict that you foresee could exist, reasonably foresee?”
Bianchi: “It would be the same answer I’ve given several times.”
Horwitz: “Respectfully, I do not believe it has been answered adequately. And, if I understand that…”
Bianchi: “I’m dong my best.”
Horwitz: “Okay. That’s fine. So I’ll decide what I’m going to do in that regard.”
Animosity was more than evident as the deposition ended. It was mainly attorney Mark Gummerson versus Blake Horwitz with Bill Caldwell saying at one point, “All right. Time-out, girls, time-out.”
“I’ll take it up with the judge, if I choose to,” Horwitz concluded.