Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs’ Letter about Problems with McHenry Police Dept. Cases

The biggest headline I have even seen in the Northwest Herald.

As you can see, the Northwest Herald scooped other media on the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s having concluded that former McHenry Policeman Dale Hojnacki “may have tampered with narcotics evidence.”

The paper even published a copy of the letter to Jamie Rein, President of the McHenry County Bar Association.

The added value that McHenry County Blog can offer is an internet searchable copy of that letter, which you see below. It came as one long paragraph, which I have separated into one-sentence paragraphs in order to make it easier to read.

Jamie Rein May 1, 2012
President McHenry County Bar Association
110 South Johnson Street, Suite 211
Woodstock, IL 60098

Re: McHenry Police Officer Dale Hojnacki

Dear Ms. Rein,

I need to inform you of potentially exculpatory evidence involving all arrests made by the McHenry Police Department.

I will be filing a supplemental discovery motion in every case involving an arrest by the McHenry police department, but I want to make sure that you are aware of potential evidentiary problems and I would respectfully request that you share this information with all bar members.

Recently, Officer Dale Hojnacki resigned from the McHenry police department.

His resignation was prompted by an internal investigation which resulted in his being accused of stealing United States Currency from an evidence locker.

Officer Hojnacki has been charged with multiple counts of the felony offenses of theft and official misconduct (12CF352) for that conduct.

A subsequent investigation has revealed that Officer Hojnacki may have tampered with narcotics evidence. The McHenry police department has reason to believe that Officer Hojnacki has been opening sealed evidence bags and removing narcotics.

An audit will be performed by an outside agency and I expect to have the results by the end of June. The results of the audit will be sent to you at a later date.

While he is presumed innocent of all charges and allegations, evidence of his alleged misconduct may be admissible in cases involving arrests by the McHenry police department because of the potential for a violation of chain of custody involving evidence.

I am sending this correspondence pursuant to my obligation under Brady because I believe that Officer Hojnacki’s conduct has potentially compromised the evidence against any person who has been arrested by the McHenry police department.

Please contact me directly at 815-334-4936 with any questions or concerns. I will contact you at a later date when I have more information.


Michael Combs
Chief, Criminal Division


Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs’ Letter about Problems with McHenry Police Dept. Cases — 6 Comments

  1. So, you have Deputy Sheriff who was in charge of ‘protecting our kids’ from sexual predators via McHenry County Tax Dollar Paid Sheriff’s computers?

    Then, while the boss Keith Nygren wasn’t around to supervise (as usual) this Deputy, the Deputy tosses said computers into a pond and is charged with “allegedly” molesting his own child?

    More charges are ‘Allegedly’ Forthcoming on that guy… Nygren’s biggest fan, and political inside buddy, “Gomer Pyle.”

    Then, toss in Police Brutality in the Pavlin case, throw in Deputy Seipler’s case, then throw in former Deputy Milliman’s ‘first hand’ allegations;

    Now you have another McHenry County police agency, whose officer ‘allegedly’ steals narcotic drugs thus causing this mess?

    I guess it just ‘might’ be time for tax payers to begin asking for some resignations at the ‘Supervisory Levels?’

    Nah, that would make to much sense and all the sheep would have to go “Baa” and wake up.

    Keep on watching cause more is coming your way folks! You might as well start looking cause you’re paying for all this.

    Enjoy the show!

    Anybody in the county ‘Tall’ enough to demand some accountability at the top?

  2. Didn’t Hojnacki also work at the county?

    Some sort of Task Force?

    Wouldn’t some county cases have a problem as well??

  3. MM-only if he was given some access to the evidence room-which if he was assigned to a TF, is highly unlikely.

  4. really – who collects it??

    We do not have CSI like they do on TV and even in other counties.

    A person with a drug problem working on a drug task force – not a good thing.

  5. Which would, by natural extension, only apply to those cases he was an officer on which, considering this story-is, undeniably, going to be brought into question.

    Any case he had an involvement in is suspect-I think we can all agree on that.

  6. Good day Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs:

    I am very disappointed with in the American justice system and the case of a officer texting a 12 year old girl is nothing but a failure of that justice system…

    We demand that this man be charged with crimes of a sexual nature towards the 12 year old victim and he be removed from the force! and put in prison for this crime..

    We the people cannot and will NOT! tolerate such a sick person in out police force nor on our streets..

    It is sick people like this is why I am going to email you as much as it takes until justice is served for this child..


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