Sheriff Keith Nygren Hires Mark Gummerson to Defend Him in Zane Seipler’s Special Prosecutor Case

On October 6, 2011, the Northwest Herald ran an editorial urging that a Special Prosecutor not be named to probe any use of taxpayer resources to advance the political ambitions of Sheriff Keith Nygren. The same day, attorney Mark Gummerson filed a six-page motion announcing his represntation of Nygren in the case and putting forth arguments for dismissal.

I guess the Thursday Northwest Herald editorial calling for the dismissal of former Republican primary candidate Zane Seipler’s request that a Special Prosecutor be named to investigate whether or not Keith Nygren used taxpayer resources to advance his political agenda wasn’t enough.

Now McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren has hired renowned defense attorney Mark Gummerson.

In a filing Thursday, Gummerson asks Associate Judge Thomas Meyer to allow him to represent Nygren, “both in his official capacity and individually,” in the case.

Gummerson notes the case goes back to January 13, 2010.  That was less than a month before the first week of February primary election.

Gummerson points to a statute that allows defendants an absolute right to have the attorney of their choice when “the representation of an applicant’s interest by existing parties is, or may be, inadequate and they will or may be bound by an order or judgment in the action.”

Gummerson argues that Nygren, as a taxpayer, may have to help pay for the Special Prosecutor.

Nygren’s attorney says that McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi intervened in the case “purportedly to protect the financial interests of the County.”

Then, he repeats a quote of Ken Koehler from October 2nd Northwest Herald,

“saying he ‘does not want to see another special prosecutor appointed to prosecute Nygren.'”

The motion argues it is not in the financial interests of McHenry County to grant the petition.

And the protection of those financial interests and Nygren’s as an individual are “not adequately represented” by the recently appointed Special Assistant McHenry County State’s Attorney Bill Caldwell.

Gummerson says that Caldwell was put in the case to replace Assistant State’s Attorney Don Leist without leave of the Court, which Gummerson writes is required, and “without explanation.”

He complains that Caldwell asked for a decision from Judge Meyer without filing a response to Seipler’s filed a motion to request “a decision on the merits.”

Gummerson charges,

“Caldwell’s appearance herein is ineffectual and cannot be honored.”

Gummerson says he’s been told that several Assistant State’s Attorneys refused to sign the motion filed by Caldwell because they thought it was “improper.”

Then Gummerson says that Bianchi’s appointment of Caldwell was in retribution for a belief by Bianchi that Nygren was behind the criminal prosecutions of Bianchi by Special Prosecutors Henry Tonigan and Thomas McQueen.

Kieth Nygren attorney Mark Gummerson writes that Nygren is getting inadequate legal representation becuase State's Attorney Lou Bianchi blames Nygren for the criminal prosecutions of Bianchi.

If Caldwell were appointed by Bianchi because of a perceived conflict of interest in the State’s Attorney’s Office, “the substitution of Caldwell as an independent representative is a farce, u pon information and belief, Caldwell is a third arm of the State’s Attorney.”

That’s because Bianchi and Caldwell are “friends, political allies and have an established attorney-client relationship.” Gummerson points out that Caldwell has also made “substantial ongoing political donations.”

Gummerson argues that Caldwell’s motion asking for a decision is “calculated to force the Court to appoint a Special Prosecutor where none is warranted.”

Gummerson argues that Seipler Blake Hobson’s filing is “wholly deficient.”

As I read the petition, Gummerson seems to be arguing that, if anyone should investigate the Sheriff, it should be Bianchi, because the only exception in the statute is if the State’s Attorney is actually physically unavailable.

He says that Koehler’s statement to the NW Herold contradicts his statement to the court.

Both County Board Chairman Ken Koehler and State's Attorney Lou Bianchi ask that attorney Bill Caldwell represent the County's interest in Zane Seipler's case asking a Speical Prosecutor be named to investigate any political activites of Sheriff Keith Nygren using county tax dollars.

Gummerson then asks Judge Meyer to appoint him as Nygren’s attorney in place of the State’s Attorney’s choice.


Sheriff Keith Nygren Hires Mark Gummerson to Defend Him in Zane Seipler’s Special Prosecutor Case — 3 Comments

  1. Winner: yet to be determined

    Losers: McHenry County taxpayers

    Here’s a novel argument: “Gummerson argues that Nygren, as a taxpayer, may have to help pay for the Special Prosecutor.”

    So he might have to cough up 2/308,760 of that bill.

    And of the bill for his defense?

    e (and Mrs. Nygren) will have to pay 2/308,760 of Gummerson’s bill.

    Which do you think will be higher?

    A bill from Bill Caldwell or a bill from Mark Gummerson?

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