What Led to the Directed Verdicts of Acquittal in Lou Bianchi’s and Joyce Synek’s Criminal Cases

A U.S. Marshal told me he had spent three years sitting in courtrooms and never seen a directed verdict.

I’ve seen one.

It was when my 1982 Skinner for Congress campaign manager sued because I didn’t pay what he thought was owed.

We had signed a contact.

My lawyer asked him on cross examination if he had handled press releases, as the contract said he would.

He admitted that my then-wife Robin had.

The campaign manager was asked if he kept the schedule, as the contract said he would.

No, he admitted, a volunteer had done that.

After the campaign manager finished putting on his evidence, my attorney asked Judge Michael Sullivan for a directed verdict and it was granted.

That was a civil case.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi’s and his assistant Joyce Synek’s were criminal cases.

Special Prosecutors Henry Tonigan and Thomas McQueen did not file adequate indictments against Bianchi and his assistant Joyce Synek.

That’s what Winnebago County Judge Joseph McGraw said again and again.

Before the directed verdict came down the defendants and their attorneys came outside the McHenry County Courthouse for a photo op. Here McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi hugs his assistant Joyce Synek. Synek's attorney Ernest DiBenedetto is seen in the background.

“There are defects in the pleading of Count 1,” Judge Joesph McGraw ruled.

“I do not find there is sufficient evidence of an agreement between Defendant Bianchi and Defendant Synek. With regard to circumstantial evidence to inferentially (conclude there was an agreement), I do not find that…merely raising the suspicion of an agreement does not exclude every other possibility.”

With regard to Count 2, McGraw said, “I do believe there is a defect in (the) pleading that allege official misconduct was committed in his official capacity. I do believe that authority (requires?) for it to be property plead that (it) has to specifically plead in the official’s official capacity. Moreover, as to the theft of labor and services, the underlying offense or forbidden conduct…and it demonstrates to my satisfaction that anticipation labor is not the property of the employer. Diversion is not theft beyond a shadow of a doubt.

“(In the) alternative to structural defect, I cannot find that there is sufficient evidence that employees of the defendant were directed to performance of duties on company time.”

These comments were made with regard to Counts 1-21 concerning Joyce Synek’s perjury charges:

“(Considering) the perjury (evidence in the) most favorable (light) to the state, as I’m (required to do), there’s no evidence she was asked to do politically-related work on a county computer.”

With regard to Count 23, “(Is there evidence she) deleted any documents in the last three years?


“I listened intently to Mr. Jerger’s (the Quest forensic computer “expert”). It appear there are some documents that have (been deleted). I could not find that Ms. Synek deleted those documents. I am not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt as to when and how they were manipulated or overridden.”

Concerning Count 24 about changing practices for location on the computer, Judge McGraw answered, “No.”

He found it “confusing listening to Mr. Jerger when whatever was done was done…I cannot find that she changed any practices.”

He went on to say with regard to the obstruction of justice charge, there was a “defect in the charging document.”

Referring to Count 15, “I do not find all the elements have been plead. I’m not going to infer or supply missing terms to the charging documents.”


What Led to the Directed Verdicts of Acquittal in Lou Bianchi’s and Joyce Synek’s Criminal Cases — 3 Comments

  1. Again, Thank you Cal for all your hard work and dedication.

    You have provided States Attorney Bianchi with a very valuable service.

    You have allowed him (Mr. Bianchi, our Top Cop) the chance to show those of us who were unable to be in attendance at the trial, just how ‘wronged’ and ‘hunted’ such a wonderfully kind man as he, had been.

    We all may not always agree with one another in Politics, but what has happened here, inclusive of the silence from the McHenry County board, has been a travesty of “Justice!”

    Thank you Mr. States Attorney for again, leading by example. In the face of darkness, you never lost your light.

    You are a shining example of “Integrity.”

    Thank you Cal Skinner and to all the local Bloggers for ‘warning’ the county of things the local News papers refused to print.

    Citizen’s it is not necessary to wait until another election. The time has come for you to do something about all this, you all know what I am talking about.

    We have a good man, damned near hung out to dry by a lynch mob.

    We have an active duty Deputy Sheriff being maligned for coming forth during the course of his duty as a Law Enforcement Officer, and “Telling You,” “Warning You” citizens of what has been going on.

    Our local News Paper made a mockery of very serious issues when the lives of our own fellow citizens were told could be in jeopardy.

    And just because you don’t see it in a local news rag, you refuse to believe nor act upon the words of ‘several’ men who have tried to tell the truth about your county and some of its office holders.

    It’s time to put down the “Fairy Tales” of McHenry County, and begin to take action. Lou Bianchi tried to tell you all, nobody listened.

    Zane Seipler, Gus Philpott, Dave Bachmann, and Cal Skinner, Mike Mahon too, ALL TRIED TO WARN YOU.

    They were all maligned and called crazy.

    There are many wonderful, educated and dedicated family men and women in our county. Some are republicans, some are democrats and some are just ‘folks.’

    One thing is clear, we all must stand for “Justice” and clarity of duty so our families and our neighbors, can call McHenry County a “Safe Haven for Family Values.”

    Protect and stand for your values, You won’t be sorry.

    Don’t ‘cower” to those who appear “Mighty” for they are not the “Almighty!”

    God Bless you Lou and you too Cal.

    And to all those who have stepped up and have said, “No more, not in my house!!” We now know, what you meant.

    Goodbye NW Herald don’t let the door hit you in the fanny!

  2. Bird, Cal is doing a great job. You were more honestly informative in your comment then the NWH in all of their reporting on the issues.
    Place your ads with Cal and you could get more exposure!!!

  3. Will the County board completely pay the individuals for defective work product?

    The judge may have been polite not to describe the special prosecutor as incompetent.

    Should the County board pay a “forensic expert” for less than expert work?

    It sounds like the judge is desribing a group of people who can’t accuse straight.

    Hmmm. I wonder why the newspapers didn’t decribe any of the indictments as defective, how they were written?

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