Winnebago County Chief Judge Joseph McGraw ruled against McHenry County Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen in his and Quest International’s requests to stop the criminal contempt proceedings brought as a result of McQueen’s and Henry Tonigan’s criminal prosecution of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.
Both party defendants asked that the Court dismiss the charges.
Judge McGraw denied both motions.
Efforts to replace Bianchi defense attorney Terry Ekl with someone else was also rejected.
“The issue before this Court is the vindication of this Court’s orders and its authority,” Judge McGraw writes.
“The ‘prosecutor’ in a criminal contempt proceeding is vindicating the Court’s authority, not representing a party or punishing a person for violating a criminal statute,” he continues.
He characterizes what is happening as “an investigation and prosecution by the Court itself.”
“Ekl is not prosecuting an opponent in a criminal matter for which he may gain some benefit. The interest being vindicated is the authority of the Court and the parties alleged failure to abide by the Court’s order.
“Mr. Bianchi’s interest in not a pecuniary interest in this matter. Nor will the Court’s finding his this matter further his interests in the pending civil litigation.”
McQueen and Quest were given permission to request to appeal of McGraw’s ruling.