Bill Caldwell’s Motion for Sanctions Against Zane Seipler in Special Prosecutor Case

You’ve heard of Special Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Caldwell’s motion seeking to have Zane Seipler and his attorney Blake Horwitz pay for the cost of defending McHenry County in Zane Seipler’s case seeking a Special Prosecutor to investigate Sheriff Keith Nygren, right?

I thought you might be interested in reading the entire motion, so I have reproduced it below:

STATE OF ILLINOIS )
) SS
COUNTY OF McHENRY )

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE 22nd JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
McHENRY COUNTY, ILLINOIS

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR
APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL PROSECUTOR,
ex rel. ZANE SEIPLER, Petitioner,

vs.

COUNTY OF McHENRY, Intervenor.

No. 10 MR 11

COUNTY OF MCHENRY’S MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

The COUNTY OF McHENRY, by Caldwell, Berner & Caldwell, LLP, (CBC) its attorneys, Petitions the Court for the entry of sanctions against both the Petitioner Zane Seipler and his attorney, Blake Horowitz, pursuant to Supreme County Rule 137, and in support of said Motion for Sanctions alleges as follows:

1. Prior to the appearance of CBC, the County was represented by the McHenry County State’s Attorney and the County is requesting that a sanction be entered for the time expended by the County’s State’s Attorneys in responding to the five Petitions that have been filed.

2. Supreme Court Rule 137 provides, in part, as follows:
“. . . The signature of an attorney or party constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading, motion or other paper; that to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief formed after reasonable inquiry it is well grounded in fact and is warranted by existing law or a good-faith argument for the extension, modification or reversal of existing law, and that it is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation. . .”

3. Seipler began this request for the appointment of a special prosecutor on January 13, 2010 based upon a six-paragraph Petition and an attached Affidavit of Zane Seipler.

4. The allegations in the original Petition were that the Sheriff had performed political activity while on duty and directed his deputies to perform political activities while on duty.

5. On December 27, 2010, Seipler filed a Notice of Motion and Motion for Leave to Supplement the Third Amended Petition to appoint a special prosecutor.

6. That Motion alleged that the record should be supplemented based upon the testimony of Deputy Scott Milliman alleging that Sheriff Nygren engaged in the solicitation of murder, trafficked illegal aliens from Mexico, covered up racial profiling, and participated in a payoff scheme with members of the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office.

Letter to Andrew Zinke from Angela L. Byers (on behalf of Special FBI Agent in Charge Robert B. Grant) concerning Scott Milliman's allegations about Sheriff Keith Nygren, dated January 4, 2011. Click to enlarge.

7. Attached hereto [see above] and made a part hereof as Exhibit 1 is copy of correspondence between Angela L. Byers, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI, on behalf of Robert D. Grant, the Agent in Charge, to Undersheriff Andrew Zinke indicating that the information provided by Deputy Milliman did not have “prosecutive merit.”

8. The Exhibits of the original Petition indicated that Seipler was referred to the Attorney General’s office or the State Board of Election by Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Carroll on November 3, 2009. That Petition also contains a copy of a letter from Diane L. Salton, Executive Inspector General of the Office of the Attorney General, indicating that their allegations did not fit within the scope of their jurisdiction, and that she was referring it to the Public Integrity Division.

9. Attached to the original Petition was the October 1, 2009 correspondence to Zane Seipler from the State Board of Elections, Daniel White, Executive Director, indicating that although the allegations were made to them, they were referring it to their General Counsel Steve Sandvoss, for review.

10. Seipler’s multiple Petitions, including the Fifth Amended Petition, made the following allegations. The bracketed number in front of each of the following paragraphs reflects the number in the Petition. Below it is the County’s corresponding answer.

[3.] In approximately 2004, Keith Nygren created a seven star LOGO.

County’s Answer: The County denies the allegation contained in paragraph 3; for further answer, the County states that the seven star logo has been used by multiple agencies across the country and is not a creation of Sheriff Nygren.

[4.] There is an official logo of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department – a five point star – which has been used by the Sheriff’s Department for over 20 years.

County’s Answer:

The County admits that the Sheriff’s office has used a five point star, but denies that it is the official logo; the County admits that the Sheriff’s Department has used that logo for many years but has insufficient information to form a conclusion as to the exact period of time that it has been used and therefore demands strict proof thereof.

[5.] Mr. Nygren created the LOGO on a computer.

County’s Answer:
The County denies the allegation contained in paragraph 5.

[9]. In 2004, Mr. Nygren intentionally created the LOGO to be used for his political campaign.

County’s Answer:
The County denies the allegation contained in paragraph 9.

[10.] Mr. Nygren intended to create the LOGO to forward his political campaign, meaning, to assist him in winning the election for McHenry County Sheriff.

County’s Answer:

The County denies the allegation contained in paragraph 10

[23.] The LOGO was placed on the Interior Wall pursuant to the order of Sheriff Nygren.

County’s Answer:
The County admits the logo is on the Interior Wall, but denies the balance of the allegations.

[26.] Mr. Nygren desired to have the LOGO affixed to the Interior Wall and Vehicles, so as to support his political campaign. It was the intention and desire of Mr. Nygren to cause the LOGO to be intermingled with the official LOGO of the Sheriff’s Department, so as to:
a. cause McHenry County budget to pay for campaign paraphernalia. . . .

County’s Answer:
The County denies the allegation contained in paragraph 26 and subparagraph(s) “a”.

[27.] Keith Nygren has requested that the LOGO be placed on McHenry County Official stationary.

County’s Answer:

The County admits the allegation contained in paragraph 27.

[28.] The LOGO has been placed on official McHenry County stationary.

County’s Answer:

The County admits the allegation contained in paragraph 28.

[32.] The Sheriff intentionally caused a LOGO that he created exclusively for his political campaign to be associated with and affixed to official property, paid for by the taxpayers, therefore allowing his own campaign to be promoted using McHenry County tax dollars.

County’s Answer:
The County denies the allegation contained in paragraph 32.

11. The County has been informed and therefore believes that there has never been an “official” star of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department.

12. The County has been informed and therefore believes that on occasions prior to the election of Sheriff Nygren the Sheriff’s office has used seven-point stars.

13. That the San Jose Police Department has been using a seven-point star since the late 1800s and that they have been exclusively using the seven-point star from the 1900s to 1976, as indicated in the attached Exhibit 2.

14. That the County is informed and therefore believes that the seven-point star, and various versions thereof, have been used by multiple police departments for over 100 years prior to the allegations of the Fifth Amended Petition.

15. The signatures of the Petitioner Zane Seipler and Attorney Blake Horowitz on the Petition constitutes a certificate that to the best of their knowledge, information and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry, that the allegations about the five-point star and seven-point star are well-grounded in fact and warranted by existing law or good faith argument for the extension, modification and reversal of existing law; that the allegations are not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.

16. The County believes that the Fifth Amended Petition was done solely for the purpose of harassing the Sheriff and the County. The following facts were well known prior to proceeding with the Fifth Amended Petition:
(a) The seven-point star has been a part of the public domain for over 100 years.
(b) That the five-point star was never an “official LOGO of the County.”
(c) That the Sheriff is vested with the absolute right to determine how his office is demonstrated to the County.
(d) That the argument concerning the five-point and seven-point star is solely a political argument interposed for the purpose of harassing the Sheriff.
(e) That the allegation that this is theft was without merit.
(f) That in the process of pursuing the appointment of a special prosecutor, Zane Seipler and his attorney have been advised that Milliman’s allegations had no prosecutive merit, and that they should submit their claims to offices other than the State’s Attorney.
(g) Plaintiff’s allegations have been reviewed by multiple governmental agencies and agents. They include the F.B.I., the Attorney General’s Office, the State Board of Elections, First Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Carroll and State’s Attorney Donald Leist. All of those agencies have indicated that there is no prosecutorial merit to their allegations.

WHEREFORE, the COUNTY OF McHENRY prays that an Order be entered holding that the Petitioner SANE SEIPLER and his attorney, BLAKE HOROWITZ, have violated Supreme Court Rule 137 and that as sanctions for violating that Rule, that the County have and recover its attorney’s fees and costs.

Caldwell, Berner & Caldwell, LLP,
Attorneys for the County of McHenry, Intervenor,

By:
William I. Caldwell

William I. Caldwell Att Reg No: 0369381
Caldwell, Berner & Caldwell, LLP
100½ Cass Street, Woodstock IL 60098
Bus: 815-338-3300, Fax: 815-338-0015


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