Sheriff Keith Nygren Off Special Prosecutor Hook, State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi Given Permission to Fish

Lou Bianchi

Keith Nygren

Associate Judge Thomas Meyer ruled Wednesday that no Special Prosecutor was needed to probe alleged criminal activity of McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.

He also ruled that the fears of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi that he might lose his law license because of a conflict of interest should he investigate and/or prosecute the Sheriff were unfounded.

Judge Meyer read his decision because “I’ve amended it so much in the last 24 hours.”

He put much emphasis on the lack of direction from the Illinois General Assembly, stating, “The Court is limited to the statutes,” which he ruled did not authorize the appointment of a Special Prosecutor in the circumstances before him.

Judge Meyer concluded that Bianchi’s decision not to investigate was within in his prosecutorial discretion, that he “decided to chose this course.”

It was the State’s Attorney’s “decision not to investigate..his discretion.”

Using as an example the State’s Attorney’s current prosecution of Sheriff’s Deputy Greg Pyle’s case, although not by name, just by the charge of “criminal predatory sexual assault of a child,” the Court pointed out that there was no “per se conflict,” as argued by Zane Seipler’s attorney Blake Horwitz.

“The State’s Attorney has not declined to be involved in the prosecution,” Judge Meyer stated.

The 27-month old case was brought by then-former Sheriff’s Deputy Zane Seipler in January, 2010, while he was running against Nygren for the Republican nomination for Sheriff.

After the decision, Bianchi’s Special Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Caldwell said,

“The County is very happy that we do not have another Special Prosecutor, especially as it relates to a 5-point or a 7-point star.”

Caldwell also said, “It’s teed up for the Appellate Court,” if Seipler decides to appeal.

Later, when Horwitz said he didn’t know if the case would be appealed, Caldwell interjected, “I love you, Blake.”

An appeal would mean more legal fees for Caldwell, of course.

After conferring with two Assistant State’s Attorneys in private, Horwitz stated,

“The Judge said very clearly Lou Bianchi’s office can prosecute criminal [conduct. There’s] no conflict.

“The only question is whether the State’s Attorney [will do so].”

Referring to the evidence that could be investigated, Horwitz said, “There’s much more [than using taxpayer dollars to advance the Sheriff’s political campaign].

“He doesn’t need a private citizen to tell him what to do.

“The State’s Attorney can prosecute [Sheriff Nygren].

Bianchi was represented most recently by Special Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Caldwell. Previously Donald Leist, who has since moved over to the Sheriff’s Department as Affirmative Action Officer, represented the State’s Attorney, for whom he worked.

Appearing before the court session began was Bianchi Special Prosecutor Henry Tonigan. When I asked if he was there to be “an expert witness,” he replied that he was not, that he just happened to be in the courthouse on other business.


Sheriff Keith Nygren Off Special Prosecutor Hook, State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi Given Permission to Fish — 9 Comments

  1. Bianchi disagrees with the judge and Nygren was quoted as saying the judge was wrong on another decision.

    Aren’t they both saying the judge does not know what he is doing?

    Actually, the judge has been completely through in his decisions.

    It is up to Bianchi in this case.

    He should be doing something.

    If his office does not want to be involved, he can ask for a special prosecutor to investigate and not do it from his office.

  2. Once again, IF there is something there to investigate, and it appears that Bianchi doesn’t think there is.

    How could he?

    He hasn’t seen anything because he didn’t want to appear to be biased.

    So, unless someone can get him to LOOK at what others think is evidence, the case is dead, unless it gets appealed to a higher court, and we waste more taxpayers money.

    Suck it up Zane and move on………you were wrong again

  3. Bianchi never said there was nothing there.

    He does not look at any issues regarding the sheriff’s mis deeds.

    Bianchi has said that he cannot for fear of loosing his license.


    The waste of taxpayer money is in having Nygren as a county employee.

    Looking the other way does not mean there is nothing there.

    Bianchi needs to do his job and not be afraid.

  4. When a candidate for sheriff who worked in cook county was running for sheriff everyone referred to him as being from crook county.

    At least our judges are willing to assign special prosecutors to investigate the police, the district attorney’s office and one of the most powerful families in the city.

    The State of Illinois is a political joke and mchenry county is the punch line.

  5. Patrick, you are right on. Do some travel for work – the nickname here is McCrook County.

    Investigations are what make people talk about Cook.

    Like you say, they are doing their job.

    That is what reveals what is going on.

    When there are no investigations, it does not mean that things are not happening, only that no one is looking into it.

  6. AZSupporter. Let’s see; is that Arizona?

    or Andy Zinke?

    Zane performed a public service for the residents of McHenry County, and at his personal expense.

    The sheriff’s expenses?

    Paid for by McHenry County!

    I have no idea what Zane’s legal bill is on this, but the residents of the county should chip in to pay for it.

    Maybe a few fundraisers will get scheduled.

    Thank you, Zane!

  7. Read the NWH – some of these county board members really need to go.

    They kept pounding on the cost of a special prosecutor when one that WOULD NOT COST THE COUNTY WAS REQUESTED.

    They are trying to scam the public and bash good people.

    Remember the names in this article as they promote corruption with not wanting an investigation. DO NOT VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM.

    It was quoted that the investigation would go beyond the star.

    Many other issues are involved with corruption.

    Why are they trying to hide it??

    The appellate prosecutor would not cost and they keep hiding that from the public.

    What are they afraid of?

    If there was no corruption, then they should welcome an investigation that WOULD NOT COST THE COUNTY.

  8. Gus; AZ stands for Jan Brewer and Arizona.

    Can’t say I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Andy Zinke yet.

    Maybe when he becomes the next target for all you zellots I will be able to meet him.

    Seen his photo tho.

    Bianchi doesn’t sound to me like he’s going to move on anything because he’s decided that his license is more important than imagined wrong doings of the current sheriff.

    And, if you’re going to tell us all that ZANE paid ALL his attorney’s fees for this mess, I’d love to know what color the oceans are on YOUR planet.

  9. Dead on – Koehler – Conservation Dist. guy and a land owner – takes millions from the county to buy land in Lake County.

    84 Lumber fiasco, his land sold and stuck the knife in all of the residents that lived in near it in Ridgefield, Metra deal – his land, worse spot than the one that was cheaper and better located on and on with his real estate deals.

    Feathers his and his families nest at the cost of the taxpayer.

    Provenzano – Mr. Flip and how many jobs can I get for my familly and me off of the taxpayer.

    Will kiss up to ANYONE that will help him get elected. Scott Breeden – Red Tail Golf Course scam in Lakewood.

    If Gary Pack was not the SA – where would Scott be now -???

    These people are BUMS.

    Been aware too long and needed to start commenting so my blood pressure does not blow.

    A lot of dirty history with these people and need to educate those who do not know.

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