Legal Ethics

State Says Judge Who Dismissed Prosecutor Corruption Charges Is Biased, Seeks New Judge in 2nd Case


After an Illinois judge’s dismissal of all charges filed against a suburban Chicago prosecutor in a political corruption case, the state is seeking a new judge to preside in a second case against McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi.

In a motion, the prosecution argues that Winnebago County Judge Joseph McGraw should step down because he has received payments (a little over $6,000 last year) for appearing at presentations to lawyers hosted by the Illinois State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutors Office, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Bianchi, who is facing trial this summer for allegedly giving favorable treatment to defendants in three criminal cases, could be represented by the group if his case is appealed and can vote on its board members, the prosecution says. The group is also challenging an effort to require McHenry County to pay for the special prosecutor pursuing the case against Bianchi as well as the amount of the special prosecutor’s attorney’s fees.

Bianchi’s defense lawyer, Terry Ekl, has a different perspective on the situation:

“We call this judge-shopping, and it’s wrong,” he tells the newspaper, saying that the government has failed to show any proof of bias.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Swift, Stunning Win for Prosecutor on Trial in Political Corruption Case: Judge Axes All Charges”

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