Lou Bianchi’s Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen’s Trial for Indirect Contempt of Court Wednesday

Thomas McQueen.  Photo Credit:  First Electric Newspaper.

Thomas McQueen. Photo Credit: First Electric Newspaper.

It’s been a long time coming, but McHenry County Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen goes to trial before Winnebago Chief Judge Joseph McGraw in his Winnebago County Courthouse Courtroom Wednesday at 9 AM.

The saga began, some believe, when Dan Regna failed to defeat McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi in the 2008 Republican Primary Election.

Associate Judge Gordon Graham was convinced by Regna and Wes Pribla to appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate criminal charges against Bianchi and several staff members for using office resources for political purposes. (It was Pribla’s motion that succeeded.)

Retired Judge Henry Tonigan was the lead prosecutor with former Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas McQueen assisting.

There were two trials, both of which Bianchi and his employees won without even having to put on a defense.

After the exonerations, Bianchi sued Tonigan and McQueen in Federal Court.

Tonigan decided to write a check for $158,000, two-thirds of which went into the McHenry County Treasury in an agreement struck with Bianchi and his attorney Terry Ekl.  The other third went to Ekl.

Bianchi filed a motion asking for McQueen and his investigators (Robet Scigalski and his Quest Consultants international), who did not settle in the Federal suit, to be held in indirect contempt of court.

Lou Bianchi attorney Terry Ekl addresses press conference as Bianchi and his wife Jean stand by his side.

Lou Bianchi attorney Terry Ekl addresses press conference as Lou Bianchi and his wife Jean stand by his side.

Using a treasurer trove of emails (14,000 pages), Ekl learned that

  • repeatedly evidence had not been turned over in a timely fashion
  • the investigators’ made false statements in court

The defendants have attempted to get the case dismissed and, then, when that was refused, transferred to another courtroom, which Judge McGraw also denied. The Judge also did not allow an appeal of his decisions.

Ekl volunteered to prosecute the case.

Attorneys for McQueen and the investigators objected, but McGraw decided to allow Ekl to present the evidence.

Ekl is not charging for his services.

Ekl told the court his part of the case would take about four hours.

The maximum penalty is six months in jail and/or a $500 fine.


Lou Bianchi’s Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen’s Trial for Indirect Contempt of Court Wednesday — 22 Comments

  1. They did a horrible thing to Lou Bianchi and his staff members…..

    The fact that the charges were dismissed without ever putting on a defense shows they were railroaded and there was no merit to the charges…

    The individuals behind this including Dan Regna and Wes Pribla should face some very serious consequences.

    Let this send a message to those people who choose to bring false charges and then have people falsely testify in court that we the people will not tolerate such lunacy in our court system..

    Believe me, if this can be achieved by bringing a prosecutor up on false charges we are all at risk..

    Every single one of us.

    Remember Gary Gauger the infamous case in which an innocent man went to death row…

    These are just a few of the false cases presented in McHenry County.

    There are more.

  2. We are all at risk of overreach of overzealous law enforcement and Lou Bianchi’s office is not innocent. Lou Bianchi and his employees are far from perfect. In this case the Special Prosecutors went outside the prescribed parameters of the authorized investigation in an attempt to include the RICO worthy actions of the McHenry County State’s Attorney office. It was a mistake to go beyond as it turned out to be an indefensible break in legal protocol. It was NOT a mistake to have the impulse to protect the public from the predations of a State’s Attorney who, at best, was clueless to the actions of his employees and, at worst, was directing their felonious actions. While Lou begged personal forgiveness for these trespasses and was afforded it he, and his largest supporters, feel they are entitled to their pound of flesh. I find it interesting he wants to be forgiven for his trespasses and yet cannot forgive the same trespasses against himself. I think this screams his duplicity of character and deserves correction. We shall see if Lou can self correct or if the patience of others who have forgiven him will be exhausted and he will be shown very publicly for the two faced individual his actions make him.

  3. Pribla and Regna are failed political wannabees. Every time they face the voters, the voters boot them, and they come back more bitter than before.

  4. Charlie You got that right… They really should just find another line of work….. Hey Wes and Dan you could go ask Judge Gordon Graham if he would pay you to record his favorite TV shows “Let’s Make a Deal” and “The Price is Right. Come on down, to the Judges Chambers… Those Good Ol BOys they all stick together..

  5. If there ever was a political “witch hunt”, this was it. This attack on Bianchi was a quintiscential witch hunt. Clearly orchestrated by Sherriff Nygren, this abuse of power was soley intended to discredit and destroy Mr. Bianchi. The evidence is now undeniable.

    That is really not in question anymore. Nygren is clearly an evil man who will stop at nothing to destroy a political adversary. He is now history and thank God for that.

    What are the interesting questions that still need to be addressed are these:

    Why was the newspaper complicit in this witch hunt? They went so far as to call for Bianchi’s resignation.

    Why is Judge Graham off the hook? He is a disgrace and was clearly complicit.

    Why isn’t there an outcry against the Crystal Lake Police Department? They were clearly involved in this sham and provided the “BS” so-called evidence for the case against Nygren in the 2nd and more ridiculous cases.

  6. “CLM” Let me tell you about the Crystal Lake Police. They brought 9 false charges against a single parent from 2005-2009 with over 70 court dates on the docket. The defendant was found “Not Guilty” on all of the charges. The arresting officer is friends with the defendants former brother in law and is also Facebook friends with him. The complainant was a Police Officers wife who was friends with the defendants ex spouse and the arresting police officer. The complainant had her brother, her sister in law and her son in law arrested and neighbors..by the same police officer…. Some of those officers have a history of that type of behavior. There is no surprise that they helped to railroad Bianchi. Remember, Nygren was Chief of Police for the City of Crystal Lake before he started at the Sheriffs Department.

  7. The CLPD has clearly revealed itself to be a thuggish organization.

    It is definitely involved in the attempt to railroad Mr. Bianchi. You all have made that point well on this blog.

    I just don’t understand why people like Shepley, Thorsen, and the others in the CL city council put up with this outrageous behavior. Certainly, they can’t agree with the CLPD….do they?

    I have disagreed with Thorsen on this site, so I don’t want that to bias my understanding. I just can’t understand why the city politicians allow an obviously renegade police department to do this repetitive thuggish intimidation. They have done this to businesses, private citizens, and to elected officials.

    The CLPD needs to be called to task for their bulling and their irrational acts of violence against their own citizens. It’s time for someone to tell the CLPD to STOP!

  8. So the smaller point here is that the defense was granted a directed verdict after the “states case “, and Bianchi wants revenge?

    How about when defense gets the same against some of his ASAs ?

    Charges were brought, and they failed to PROVE the case against Bianchi.

    You won, Lou; don’t make a further fool of yourself with this crap.

    Graham did nothing but appoint a special prosecutor so the case could move forward to vindicate Bianchi, in this case.

  9. There has been a changing of the guard at the Crystal Lake PD> Let us hope the new chief there will straighten things out.

  10. Agreed, FYI. To be fair, that is true.
    I hope you’re right.

    It sure would be nice for the new Chief to acknowledge the reckless and thuggish behavior of his lazy predecessor who left the department in the hands of a devil while he vacationed on our tax dollar.

  11. “AZ” Thats right Judge Gordon Graham appointed a special prosecutor and it was not for the purpose of vindicating Bianchi, it was for the purpose of prosecuting him….

    It just so happens Bianchi does not like the TV shows “Lets Make a Deal” and “The Price is Right”

    Graham and others asked Bianchi to “Come On Down” and watch and because Bianchi is an ethical person he refused and was then railroaded..

    Those are the facts “AZ”.

    And, if you want people to believe Graham appointed a Special Prosecutor to vindicate Bianchi you are more twisted than I thought.

    You are just trying to manipulate the public persona of Graham, so he looks like he acted with integrity in that case and he did not…

    The fact that you would suggest Graham brought in a special prosecutor to vindicate Bianchi is an insult to the tax payers…

    Bianchi is innocent and he was never found guilty of anything…

  12. It doesn’t make sense that Terry Ekl isn’t prosecuting Henry Tonigan, too.

    Tonigan’s settlement only released him from civil action, not criminal contempt of court.

  13. You HAVE to have a few screws loose.

    My POINT was that Graham appointed a special prosecutor which THEN found Bianchi not guilty.

    If it had not been Graham it would have been another judge; since you seem to feel they’re all bad, which judge it was really didn’t matter to you .

    Surprised you found the Federal judge was ok.

    Dum Dums rules, I guess

  14. “AZ” Your words not mine: “Graham did nothing but appoint a special prosecutor so the case could move forward to vindicate Bianchi, in this case” …….

    Clearly, if a Judge wants to vindicate a defendant they drop the charges, they do not assign a Special Prosecutor.

    Now get along and go help Kim Zinke write her book: “Political Campaigning for Dummies”

    You apparently are an expert on the topic. Sure hope the book is just as entertaining the Andy Zinke Campaign for McHenry County Sheriff.

  15. Your obvious lack of legal knowledge is showing Dum Dim.

    A judge CANNOT drop charges, only a prosecutor can.

    A judge finds someone not guilty,guilty, or directly finds that either the prosecutor failed to prove his case for directed or guilty or not guilty AFTER/ DURING a TRIAL!

    Your Dum Dum thoughts are proving to the other people on this blog your bias and epic lack of knowledge, except about old game shows.

  16. AZ=Andy, why didn’t they appoint a special prosecutor to “vindicate” Nygren.

    I think that would have had a different ending.

    Hopefully the Milliman case will bring out the truth about what has been going on in this county.

    We all know who was behind the attempt to oust Lou.

    You gave no special treatment to Lou in the jail, but you did give special treatment to your pedophile sicko friend, Pyle.

    Good judgment douchebag.

    I hear you got an degree in Leadership.

    Was that a grade school class or something at the Pioneer Center.

    I’m sure the Herald will print a little puff piece for their boy Andy.

    I hear also that certain old guard republicans are saying it’s “Andy’s turn to be sheriff”.

    Andy’s turn! WTF!

    Are we taking turns at sheriff now.

    Who’s after Andy, the janitor ?

    Just what we need , someone schooled by Keith in how to be a vindictive a-hole bully.

    You failed the Sgt. exam in leadership, there is a reason for that.

    All the schools in the world won’t change that.

  17. Bianchi never should have been charged, it was an overreach.

    However, let’s not forget he brought it on himself with the horrible overreach in his attempted retribution against his former teenage secretary.

    She got caught up in a game of politics between the attorneys in Mr. Bianchi’s office and his reprisal against what she thought was honest whistle-blowing was nothing short of a despicable act of a bully.

    Many here know that his ruthless pursuit of that young woman is what led her to be awarded with a Special investigator to look at both sides of the issue, but purposely pretend like it wasn’t her request that was approved.

    Both special prosecutors were a complete waste of money and led to dozens of overcharges that weren’t even prosecuted.

    Let’s just remember Mr. Bianchi went after the young women looking for his revenge first, and no one really won in the end certainly not the taxpayers.

  18. McHenry County Special Prosecutor, Thomas McQueen, is obviously an incompetent buffoon for failing to put Mr. Corruption himself, Louis Bianchi in a cage where he belongs.

    But who knows, Thomas McQueen may have been paid off to be a buffoon by the Taylor Street Boys.

  19. Cal, wouldn’t it be better if people posted under their own names?

  20. “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke. Now get along Kim You and Andy have a book to finish “Political Campaigning for Dummies” You have quite a resume on the topic and therefore should be a really good read…lol……

  21. As Cal’s story reads, “Judge Graham was convinced to appoint a special prosecutor to INVESTIGATE criminal charges”, not Trial the charges.

    If it had not been he, maybe another judge would have appointed someone.

    One might think that a former judge and DA would have done a better job.

    Their investigations were taken before a special grand jury of CITIZENS who approved the charges.

    Turned out they were wrong, but the process worked in Bianchi’s favor.

    This is our legal system.

    Got a better idea of criminal or civil justice?

    Get elected and do something about it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.