This is the final installment of my notes from last Wednesday’s Rockford Federal court hearing before Judge Frederick Kapala.
At issue in the wrongful termination action brought by McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler against Sheriff Keith Nygren and various of his subordinates is whether the case should be dismissed because of the posting of court sealed disciplinary records of various deputies.
Previously, Zane testified that his wife Rose told him in August 2011 that she had posted the secret documents.
“The August, 2011, telephone conversation,” Judge Frederick Kapala referenced.
“Explain to me the conflict between you and your client and Mrs. Seipler.
“What prohibited you from asking her about that?”
Horwitz injected the following before Nelson could answer:
“Defendants had pulled out every single stop they could.
“We have uncovered a lot of information in this case that would be very embarrassing to the Sheriff’s Department.
“Based upon how horrible the press dealt with him because of the relationship of the Sheriff [Keith Nygren] and the Northwests Herald and based upon [what] Mr. Sotos was asking for my client to be sent to [jail, there] was concern for the reputation of Mrs. Seipler.”
“She wasn’t a party to the confidentiality order,” Judge Kapala noted.
“Indirect civil contempt” were the words out of Horwitz’ mouth.
He emphasized the “conflict between my client and the Sotos firm.”
Kapala commented again, but what I wrote down doesn’t make a lot of sense to me: “Her interests lie in that same one.”
“[They] might accuse her of aiding and abetting the violation of the court order
“Mr. Seipler has told me things against his self-interest and I trust him.”
Horwitz revealed that he had spent more time on this case than any other in his career–”over 1,000 hours.”
“There would be a conflict if she came right out and said, ‘I did it.’”
Horwitz then explained that he had asked lots of lawyers about “indirect contempt.” He said he had found no attorney had been able to point to anything relating to the subject either.
“No one knew the answer to that question back in August, 2011.
“That’s why John Nelson mentioned criminal sanctions.
“I haven’t yet researched that law because,frankly, she’s not my client.
“Sometimes I listen to my feeling–call it listening to your inner voice or whatever–and sit back and see what’s going on.
Horwitz said he didn’t want to be “creating a situation where I may be creating a divorce.”
After checking calendars, the Judge and the lawyers decided the next gathering would be August 27th
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Articles explaining the dueling sanctions motions:
- Sheriff Seeks Sanctions for Privacy Violations, While Violating Privacy Order or “Do As I Say, Not As I Do”
- Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 1
- Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 2
- Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 3
- Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 4
- Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 5
- Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 6
Links to the articles containing the entire 10,000+ word transcript from December 15th, mainly about Sheriff Deputy Scott Milliman’s deposition, can be found at the links below: