Point, Counter Point – Sotos, Horwitz Both Request Sanctions – Part 5

Besides violating the confidentiality court order in former Sheriff’s Deputy Zane Seipler’s wrongful termination case, his attorney Blake Horwitz argues in his motion for sanctions that defendant McHenry County Sheriff’s lawyer James Sotos has wrongfully withheld a long video interview made of Seipler by the Department.

As before, paragraphing and formatting has been added in the text to make the text easier to read on a computer screen.

“The Video Recording

“This Court recently granted Plaintiff leave to re-take the deposition of two Defendants, Lutz and Miller, given Defendants’ failures in producing a lengthy video taken of the Plaintiff during the Plaintiff’s internal investigation into racial profiling and ticket writing. See Order, Dkt No. 311, October 12, 2011.

“Plaintiff desires to remind the Court that three affidavits were filed in support of the Defendants’ position that the video was somehow lost. (Exhibit J, Affidavits of Defendants Miller and Lutz and Affidavit of Elizabeth Barton). These affidavits were filed by party defendants and their counsel (Ms. Barton) in response to Plaintiffs motion to compel and this Court’s order (Dkt No. 134) [Foot Note 3].

James Sotos

“This Court will recall Mr. Sotos’ recent oral argument before the Court, where he stated that the hour long video was recently ‘found’, but only after the Plaintiff’s deposition was taken.

“During Mr. Sotos’ argument, this Court on repeatedly referenced the ‘convenient’ post-deposition find and then granted Plaintiff’s motion to compel as to the two Defendants.

“Notably, Defendant Affiant Seith stated that she gave the CD to the Sotos law firm (Exhibit J, pg 5, para 6) but then the video became ‘missing’ (Id. para. 8).

“Ms. Barton, a Sotos Associates states that she performed a ‘reasonably search’, including Mr. Sotos’ involvement, to obtain the video (Exhibit J, para 5 and 7).

“Apparently, the search became more reasonable after the Plaintiff testified.”

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Foot Note 3 – “As to Plaintiff’s motion to compel the production of an audio-video recording of the internal investigation of Plaintiff, Defendants are ordered to complete a reasonable search to produce the compact disc. According to the Defendants’ affidavit, a copy of the disc was sent to Heidi Parker, but no explanations have been proffered as to efforts to locate this copy, or any other copies that may exist. Within 21 days, Defendants shall either produce a copy of the compact disc, or submit an affidavit to the court to explain why Ms. Parker’s copy is unavailable.”

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In addition to asking for sanctions, Seipler attorney Horwitz asks for “attorneys’ fees for having prevailed with regard to depositions of Miller and Lutz (concerning the newly found video).”

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More tomorrow.

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