It’s a long time until the March Primary Election, so I am perplexed why all the negative messages are being rolled out so early.
Again Monday, the anonymous Political Action Committee calling itself McHenry Judicial Ethics PAC has published another unfavorable article on McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan, who is running against three men for a countywide Judge’s post.
Here is its content:
This is what is on the second page of the post:
“Generally speaking, it is extremely rare for a judge to order sanctions against assistant state’s attorneys…”, said Sally Daly, a spokesperson for the Cook County state attorney office.
In 2015, those rare sanctions were filed against Mary McClellan, who at the time was an Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County. U.S. District Judge John F. Grady stated that the attorney “acted in bad faith” during a civil rights cased filed against the Chicago police.
Furthermore, the same judge said the office “obstructed” access to files while the lawsuit was argued in court and did not appear to follow its own policies for retaining documents.
Read the full story in the Chicago Tribune.
The case revolved around a family attorney who was filing for records of an arrest in 2008. The family claimed that false charges were levied against them. The family was found not guilty and then they sued to the city.
The family attorney petitioned the Cook County office for the paperwork around the 2008 arrest. Mary McClellan, who was representing the office on the case, said the paperwork was destroyed.
But it was not.
The family attorney was able to petition the court to look for the paperwork himself. The attorney reported back to the court that he found them in “about 15 minutes.”
It was concerning that the family attorney was able to find these files so quickly, after repeated statements by Mary McClellan that the files did not exist. The judge sanctioned McClellan for “recklessly adhering to the position” in court that the case files did not exist.
The taxpayers ended up paying $130,000 to resolve this incident. While this is a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars, what is more concerning are the actions of Mary McClellan. Steven Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern University School of Law, expressed, “The judicial process depends on transparency and the production of documents, so it’s extremely important for all parties to comply with discovery requests. It’s an essential element of justice for documents to be produced when requested.”
Either Mary McClellan didn’t know where the files were, which shows incompetence. Or she knew where they were and she was not being honest.
Either way, U.S. District Judge John F. Grady found enough wrongdoing that he took the rare step of sanctioning Mary McClellan.
Mary McClellan was not able to deliver an essential element of justice as an attorney. Will she be able to deliver justice as a judge?