In her former job, McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan was a Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney.
Now comes the Chicago Tribune reporting on Federal Judge John F. Grady’s ruling that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office “‘acted in bad faith’ during a civil rights case filed against Chicago police and the city.”
This resulted in a sanction that the paper says could cost Cook County taxpayers an extra $35,000 in legal fees.
McClellan figure prominently in the story:
Mary McClellan, an assistant state’s attorney who represented the office for a portion of the case, was also sanctioned by Grady for “recklessly adhering to the position” in court that the misdemeanor case files did not exist.
McClellan, who worked in the office’s civil rights division, said she was relaying in court what she was told about the office’s record-keeping policies. McClellan said at one point she personally sifted through hundreds of files in search of the 2008 files and could not find them.
McClellan, who left the state’s attorney’s office earlier this year after being elected McHenry County clerk, said she was “disturbed” by the court’s decision.
“I pride myself on being an attorney and being honest and being forthright,” she said. “As an attorney, you take the position that you advocated for our client, but you always have ethical obligations as an individual, which I take very seriously.”
A spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said, according to the Tribune,
“While there may have been a misunderstanding or mistake made with respect to record-keeping in this particular case, we believe that Ms. McClellan had a good faith basis to believe that her statements to the court were truthful.”