Special Prosecutor Tom McQueen – Honest Mistakes or Willfull Withholding of Evidence?

Lou Bianchi

Lou Bianchi

The two-day trial of McHenry County Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen wrapped up yesterday.

Joyce Synek

Joyce Synek

Wednesday was dedicated to the presentation of evidence by volunteer prosecuting attorney Terry Ekl that McQueen had deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence in the criminal trials of McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi and his secretary Joyce Synek.

Thursday defense attorney Steve Puizis put defendant McQueen on the stand to tell his version of events.

He elicited McQueen’s education and work experience, as he “follow[ed] in his father’s footsteps.” (His father was eventually Chief Judge of the Lake-McHenry County Circuit Court.)

Asked if there had been previous sanctions or discipline, the answer was “No.”

The attorney seemed to throw the lead Special Prosecutor Henry “Skip” Tonigan under the bus as McQueen revealed it was Tonigan who had ordered a background investigation on Judge Joseph McGraw.

Thomas McQueen. Photo credit:  First Electric Newspaper.

Thomas McQueen. Photo credit: First Electric Newspaper.

McQueen also revealed that Tonigan had granted “transactional immunity” to former McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Foley.

Information that then-First Assistant Tom Carroll provided was in contention. McQueen said that he was Tonigan’s witness.

Pointing out that Tongan had been a judge in Lake County for twenty-two years, Puizis asked if Tonigan had mentioned that emails would have to be turned over. McQueen answered in the negative.

Puizis then raised the issue of “selective prosecution,” pointing out that no complaint had been raised about Tonigan’s activities on the case.

“Mr. Ekl had a financial interest in the underlying case,” Puizis said.

He said he was bringing up the subject in order to make “my record for that.”

Puizis stressed how many emails that McQueen got daily–45.

He also elicited from McQueen that in none of his other case had emails between an attorney and an investigator been produced for the opposing attorney.

Then came a series of denials:

  • “I had absolutely no recollection that there was this email.”
  • “Did you intentionally withhold that email from the defense in this case?” “No.”

Puizis next brought up that McQueen’s mother was taken to the hospital from an assisted living center during the middle of the trial. Ekl moved to quash the comment.

An email from Regan Shepley, who represented the McHenry County IT Department and its Director Tom Sullivan, mentioned viruses on some of the State’s Attorney’s computers  was one that Ekl thought should have been turned over, but was not.

McQueen was asked when he first say emails concerning what Bill LeFew and Sue Lockhart.

“When I received and read the petition filed with this court,” McQueen said.

“Were these produced by Quest [Consultants International]?” Puizis asked

“They were not,” McQueen replied.

A memo concerning what Demetris Tsilimigras was handed over to the attorney for State’s Attorney Micheal McCleary, but not to Ekl.

“Did you intentionally withhold that statement?” Puizis asked.

“I did not,” was McQueen’s reply.

McQueen pointed out that the criminal count for which the missing information might have been helpful to Bianchi was on a count that was dropped.  It was the one that accused Bianchi of using comp time for parade duty and use of other office resources for political purposes was

Memos concerning the Pro-Life Victory Committee were a matter of heated contention.  Puizis drew from McQueen that his mother died the day of the court controversy.

“Did you intentionally misrepresent or…intentionally withhold [the information]?”

“I did not.”

Missing notes in question were characterized by McQueen  as “neither material or exculpatory.”

A quid pro quo situation was being investigated and, although, Sue Serdar had told the Quest investigator that it was a false assumption, McQueen presented the possibility to the Grand Jury to show them “we were running out the ground mole.”

“Did you observe [the investigator] lied [on the stand before Judge McGraw]?”

“Absolutely not.  He clearly was confused about the question and the answer.” McQueen said.

One document reporting was Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Bora said was also withheld.

McQueen told Ekl that Bora would not be a witness the Friday before the August trial.

“Did you remember this part [of the] email?”

“I did not.

“Did you intend to withhold anything?”

“I did not.”

Things were moving so fast at this point.  I wrote down,

“We could have shown Bora was a liar,”

which I think Ekl said at some point, but I’m not sure.

It was pointed out that would have been the case only if Bora were a witness.

Puizis asked if McQueen ever asked for a Quest report to be revised.

“Certainly not.”

There were notes about “overheard” McHenry County Jail phone calls from a Quest investigator named Riley that slipped through the discovery cracks.

“Were you aware of any handwritten notes from Riley?”

“I was not.”

Other handwritten notes were produced about conversations with the Crystal Lake Police Chief,  Sue Serdar, Phil Wyena, another CL Policeman and two McQueen didn’t remember.

Then the question of whether emails should be considered part of the “handwritten notes” Judge McGraw ordered turned over.

“Did you interpret those emails to be handwritten notes?”

“I did not.”

One of Tom Carroll’s questions was whether Bianchi was allowed to leave the state.  Carroll told Quest President, who was McQueen’s contact at the firm, that Bianchi had been seen at a Lake Geneva fund raiser for Ken Koehler.

“Was any of [for the information provided] exculpatory?”

“None of it,” McQueen replied.

Similar questions were asked of other information that Ekl found had not been handed over in his discover in the Federal civil case.

“Did you in good faith attempt to comply with all of Judge McGraw’s orders?”

“I did.”

The Court then was recessed for lunch.

= = = = =
More tomorrow.


Special Prosecutor Tom McQueen – Honest Mistakes or Willfull Withholding of Evidence? — 15 Comments

  1. Some may say that McHenry County Special Prosecutor, Thomas McQueen, was paid off to be an incompetent buffoon, or the Taylor Street Boys had something on him to throw this case.

    This was a no brainier and Mr. Corruption himself, Louis Bianchi should have been convicted.

  2. Fukoku, that is some kind of statement!

    This could only come out from the Nygren/Zinke boys club . . .

    I understand they have a reputation for being a pro at this kind of ethics and morality.

    Regarding Pyle, the Sheriff’s office did not want any questions as to his behavior . . .

    WHY . . .

    if there is one piece of dirty laundry put out there for the public to see, it is just a sign of more to come.

  3. 45 emails a day?

    I have that many by 9:00.

    And I have to have responses to all of them by the end of the day.

    they should have asked how many were junk mail and messages of adoration from Fukookoo.

    this was blatant flaunting of the rules and McQueen should have to pay like the other stooge did.

    Then Gordy Graham should be held accountable.

  4. I put this comment on Skinner’s article other Tonnigan article too. I just wanted to make sure that no one misses it and that Fuki responds. All references come from the former article.

    Let’s do a fact check on Fuko (aka Vibrator because the Fukoku 9000 apparently is a Japanese made vibrator).

    1.) In Vibrator’s original posts “she” was an Japanese grandmother. This was “her” statements relatively early on in the Zinke for Sheriff saga. Go back and check the articles where Andy flips off the parade crowd.

    2.) Vibrator’s Facebook page says “he” graduated from International Christian University High School which is near Tokyo in 1993.

    3.) Vibrator states above that “it” retired from CPD in 1999 after 28 years.

    4.) In 1999 the retirement age at CPD was 60 years old, unlike today where it is 55.

    5.) Vibrator would have started with CPD in 1971 to retire after 28 years in 1999.

    6.) If he/she was 60 years old at time of retirement that would make her/him 74 years old which corresponds to the “grandmother” statements in earlier posts.

    7.) International Christian University High School in Japan where Vibrator says he/she went to school didn’t open till 1978. He/she was already working for CPD in 1978, forgetting that FB states graduation in 1993.

    8.)Vibrator doesn’t say what the Masters form Univ. of Chicago is in but as far as I know there is nothing police related being taught at U of C in Master’s program. (Awaiting Response Kim)

    9.)Vibrator writes that Cabrini-Green is/was on the south side. Not the last time I drove Division.

    10.) Is there a Metro Station on Taylor? There is no Main Street in Chicago.

    11.) 2020 and 2024 refer to areas, 20 and 24 10-20 is the radio code for location/area, short speak for CPD is 2020 or 2024 District 20, District 24. CPD would know this. Both 20 and 24 are on the Northside. Rogers Park and Foster. Again CPD would know this.

    I don’t have anymore time to continue to show Vibrator’s lies. I can’t post on this site every 2 hours round the clock as the former detective can.

    Hey when is Andy’s deposition?

    Did Fuki get her subpoena or is she trying to dodge it like she did when she was an MCSO detective and went crazy in 2007.

  5. Anyone who puts detailed information on Facebook is a complete idiot!

    Happy hunting Sandman on your wild goose chase, you will never find out my true identity, fool.

    If you evil snakes want to know my true identity, I will be wearing a name tag at Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s victory celebration when he is elected our new Sheriff of McHenry County.

    See you all there……

  6. Take this as a lesson those that like to debate Fuki.

    I was not trying to prove her identity.

    I did prove that she is a liar and not worth debating.

    Don’t even respond to her anymore it’s a waste.

    If you must just call her what she is, LIAR.

  7. There has only been one person that claimed that I said I was a Japanese grandmother on this blog, Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler.

    Don’t we all find it to be very strange that we have not heard from Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler yet who lives on this blog?

    Could it be that Sandman Bring Me a Dream is Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler?

    This would not be the first time Duncan Mchenry = Zane Seipler changed his post name.

  8. “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke.

    You are the most manipulative person Kim….

    Have to say there isn’t anyone out there who has your ability to lie and appear innocent while you are talking.

    Duncan is not Zane and Duncan is not Sandman Bring Me a Dream.

    All you are trying to do is bring credibility to your statements.

    Because of the way Andy and you have run his campaign you have lost all credibility.

    Then you have the guts to lie over and over again on this blog.

    Andy Zinke’s campaign manager should be ashamed of themselves for allowing him to act like a complete idiot.

    Not only have Kim and Andy Zinke made a mockery of your own family you have made a mockery of Mchenry County..Y

    ou have the right to remain silent Kim.

    There are depositions going on in Rockford Andy and Kim. Just remember the following:

    Anything you say or do for a blog or for questioning during a deposition in Rockford may be used against you in a court of law.


  9. All of the futile misleading far reaching accusations against me will not change the fact that Undersheriff Andrew Zinke will win and become the next Sheriff of McHenry County.

    The other fact is that Mr. Corruption himself, Louis Bianchi’s attempt to take control of this county will fail.

    Also another fact, you misfits give Sheriff Keith Nygren way too much credit.

    The Teflon Sheriff is a lightweight with no connections but only with the connection to your imaginary minds.


  10. “Fukoku” = Kim Zinke…..

    Ha Ha Ha….

    Looks like you haven’t taken your meds lately Kim….

    Darn we thought for sure Andy would shut you up and you just keep talking….. T

    hat “BIG FAT” whole you and Andy keep digging gets deeper by the day…


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