Seipler Request for Special Prosecutor for Sheriff Nygren Drags On, Caldwell Signals Appeal If Approved by Judge

Blake Horwitz

Yesterday’s court hearing before Judge Thomas Meyer on former McHenry County Deputy Sheriff Zane Seipler’s request that a Special Prosecutor be named to probe whether Sheriff Keith Nygren used taxpayer dollars to advance his political ambitions resulted in another delay.

Seipler attorney Blake Horwitz’ request for sanctions against Nygren for even trying to enter the case was countered by his attorney Mark Gummerson’s request for a chance to file a written reply.

That request was granted by Judge Meyer, who then gave Horwitz time to reply.

The next court date is December 22nd.

Seven days for each side of the case was agreed upon.

That results in the next hearing being held three days before Christmas.

In asking leave to file a response, Gummerson said, “We’re getting pretty far afield.”

In discussing the timing of the filings, Horwitz’ comment was, “I’ll do whatever (it takes).”

Judge Meyer reiterated his opinionthat he doesn’t believe “the merits of the criminal (activity)” is “relevant to my (decision-making process).”

Horwitz pressed for the Court to require Special Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Caldwell to file whether McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi has a “conflict or the ability to attend.”

Zane Seipler

Keith Nygren

In other words, does Bianchi use the “magic words” that Judge Meyer seems to believe that the statutes would require him to appoint a Special Prosecutor?

Horwitz said he was trying “to get a little further down the field.”

The case has been pending since a couple of weeks before the early February 2010 Republican primary election in which Nygren defeated Seipler.

Caldwell observed that the Judge had already ruled on Horwitz’ request.

He pressed for the Judge to look at the underlying issues, that is, the validity of criminal violations alleged in the suit.

Caldwell objected to Horwitz’ filing of what he called “free lance motions.”

Discussion ensued on the Friday afternoon deposition of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.

Hinting at a delaying appeal if the case did not go his way, Caldwell wondered if having Gummerson participate in the questioning of Bianchi would “spoil the record for appeal.”

“If you don’t have any case law that it’s a reversible error…I’m not going to cancel it (the Bianchi deposition),” Judge Meyer replied.

While Judge Meyer clearly was not ready to rule yesterday on whether he had made a mistake in allowing Nygren be a party to the case, in the last court hearing he expressed doubt that he had acted correctly.

Neither Seipler nor Nygren were in the courtroom.

While waiting for Gummerson and Caldwell to make their way to the courtroom, Undersheriff Andy Zinke was sitting in the back row, but he left before the hearing on the case.

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