Now that Woodstock’s Amy Dalby has been sentenced to court supervision by Judge John Condon for having copied computer files from McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s office, Bianchi has issued the following statement:
Statement from McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi
June 1, 2009
It is a shame that sabotage by some overzealous political opponents created the result reached in court today and continues to fuel untrue and overreaching statements in the public.
The crime pled to today was the theft of approximately 5,100 sensitive law enforcement documents from the State’s Attorney’s Office – documents taken for political purposes, according to the special prosecutor.
Those who hatched the plot or aligned with them are trying to characterize this as something else. The facts undermine that allegation.
The computer information was peddled to the news media in the middle of a contested election instead of to law enforcement, where such matters should have been referred if a true “whistle blowing” issue existed.
When we first learned that an office computer may have been compromised, and thus a crime committed, we immediately acted, with an understanding that the content of the computer may become public.
We first confirmed, through a computer forensics expert, that indeed content had been removed from an office computer, without authority. Our office computers contain extremely sensitive material, including information on confidential informants, undisclosed investigative material and privileged communications between attorney and client.
In the wrong hands, such information could impede important law enforcement investigations, diminish public safety, and jeopardize pending civil litigation involving the county.
The State’s Attorney’s Office then petitioned the court to appoint a special prosecutor, David O’Connor, to investigate this matter and to take action as he deemed appropriate.
My acquaintance with Mr. O’Connor is by reputation alone. He is known throughout Illinois as a thorough, vigilant, and fair prosecutor and has served as a special prosecutor in other cases.
We have never met or spoken to each other and his communications with this office were limited to discussions about the logistics of grand jury and court proceedings in this county.
Today, Ms. Dalby has been sentenced by the Court pursuant to her plea of guilty.
I would note that we always had a good relationship with Ms. Dalby and indeed she made numerous social visits to our office, volunteered to work in the future, and exchanged pleasant and supportive letters all after her departure as an employee.
She said she left with a positive impression of the State’s Attorney’s Office and we had the same opinion of her work. I wish her well in the future.
As to the allegations made by Ms. Dalby’s attorney and others, they are false.
As I have previously stated, my re-election campaign was run outside of the State’s Attorney’s Office.
My annual fundraiser was planned, organized and executed by my committee chairman who is not employed by the State’s Attorney’s Office. The banquet room for my annual fundraiser was prepared and the event catered by employees of the Turnberry Country Club.
All of my campaign meetings were held at a conference room at Panera Bread Restaurant or at a private home of a campaign volunteer not employed by this office.
Further, all campaign literature was designed, printed and mailed by a private mail order house.
Others in the office chose not to participate. There was never any pressure to get involved in my campaign.
Even though the distinction gets blurry at times, I was careful not to cross the line between government and politics.
The public needs to understand that these same people have made many false charges in the past and will no doubt level equally false diatribes in the future.
My focus is and will always be to keep the people of McHenry County safe and secure and to administer justice fairly.
There is an earlier statement Bianchi issued in March.
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In the upper and lower right, you see photos of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.
In the middle is a sign party to which he refers.