Transcript in Last Zane Seipler Wrongful Termination Court Hearing – Part 2
Yesterday, McHenry County Blog ran the first part of the December 15, 2010, transcript of a Rockford hearing before Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney. Today, you can read the second part.
The underlying case is one in which former McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler, who ran unsuccessfully against Sheriff Keith Nygren in the spring GOP primary election, sued the department for wrongful termination. Racial profiling has been a centerpiece of the case.
THE COURT: All right. Now, what does this other stuff have to do with it?
MR. HORWITZ: If Sheriff Nygren was involved in this criminal activity, as this 15-year veteran states — okay?
THE COURT: Yeah. You’re going to try to get it in as other bad acts?
MR. HORWITZ: No. Not as propensity. Not —
THE COURT: Well, you said 404(b).
MR. HORWITZ: 404(b) allows for motive and intent.
THE COURT: All right. And the motive is going to be that this is all part of a vast conspiracy and that the reason he fired your guy was to protect his own criminal activity.
MR. HORWITZ: More specifically. Not just the concept of criminal activity as a general concept.
THE COURT: Yeah.
MR. HORWITZ: And, by the way, there’s many, many, many factual patterns. I’ve addressed as many as I could in the motion that were pertinent.
THE COURT: Okay.
MR. HORWITZ: But the targeted focus is that there were a number of things that Sheriff Nygren was doing with regards to Hispanics Deputy Milliman says in the recent testimony, and the two or three things that he was doing that relate to Hispanics, two of them — there are three things that we’ve set forth in the motion.
THE COURT: Right.
MR. HORWITZ: Two of them are relatively meaningful as it relates to racial profiling. One is that they were actually, for the sake of a — I’ve got to short circuit. You know, shorten what I’m saying. Let’s just say he’s sort of filling up the Stonelake Apartments from Mexico, meaning illegal trafficking of Hispanics from Mexico.
THE COURT: For what? Why is he doing it?
MR. HORWITZ: Because him and Jose Rivera, Deputy Milliman states, received a financial benefit.
THE COURT: Because?
MR. SOTOS: Kickbacks, he says.
MR. HORWITZ: Because Jose Rivera received money.
THE COURT: Because the Hispanics would pay them if he’d protect them?
MR. HORWITZ: Yeah. The traditional coyote scheme, which is somebody transports them —
THE COURT: All right.
MR. HORWITZ: Now, this is what Deputy Milliman says, Judge.
THE COURT: Yeah, but it’s not what your guy complained of.
MR. HORWITZ: That’s not — okay. I’m just giving you the two scenarios.
THE COURT: Well, but I’m just saying, you know —
MR. HORWITZ: Let me try then.
THE COURT: It’s a stretch to get this to tie into your case, particularly since I’ve got an ’08 case and I’m at the end.
MR. HORWITZ: Let me continue to tie it in, if I could, okay?
THE COURT: I’m waiting.
MR. HORWITZ: Okay. So, first of all — so, there’s two other central issues. Officers Jones and Bruketta, specifically Jones, would go to the Stonelake Apartments, wait for a traffic violation because they believed or he believed — 9 at a minimum I know that there’s evidence relative to Jones — that it is at that location where he can get arrests. It is through getting arrests that the officers are promoted.
For example, just so you understand, Sheriff Nygren would generate a list. Now, sidetracking from arrests with regards to tickets, Sheriff Nygren would generate a list. If you get 20 more tickets, you are then put on a letter that we publicly — Sheriff Nygren publicly displays, and in that letter it identifies all the officers, how many arrests did they get — excuse me — how many tickets they got, and that sort of getting on that list is what provides for promotions, provides for a pat on the back, doing a good job.
THE COURT: But, you see, there’s a slight inconsistency here in what you’re saying. On the one part you’ve told me that basically — and I know you’re saying that you have information that shows this. I’m sure you’re not accusing Sheriff Nygren at this point.
But one thing you’re showing that — you’re claiming that Sheriff Nygren has a benefit of protecting illegal Hispanics and putting them into the house and getting some type of kickback. On the other hand, you’re telling me that people are hanging around this place that are friends of Sheriff Nygren arresting them so that, in fact, they can move up, as far as this list is concerned, which means he’s not doing much protection as far as these people are concerned if he’s got his officers out there arresting them.
MR. HORWITZ: I didn’t say that he was intending to protect them. There is another scheme. There is another scenario. Whether or not he chooses to intellectually analyze what he’s doing and his course of conduct, and I understand what you’re saying, but —
THE COURT: Did Milliman really say this stuff?
MR. HORWITZ: Judge, this is what he said under oath.
And to be clear, Judge —
THE COURT: Wow.