Legal Ethics

Swift, Stunning Win for Prosecutor on Trial in Political Corruption Case: Judge Axes All Charges


A closely watched trial of an Illinois prosecutor that is believed to be the first in state history to put a sitting district attorney in the defendant’s seat in a felony case has ended with a swift and stunning victory for McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi.

At the close of the government’s case, before any defense was mounted, Judge Joseph McGraw today dismissed what had originally been a 17-count felony indictment saying that no crime had been proven by the prosecution, reports the Chicago Tribune.

McGraw, who had been brought in from Winnebago County to hear the case, said there is no bright-line distinction between politics and public business and found that Bianchi had not had public employees do campaign work for him on the county’s clock.

Bianchi’s administrative assistant, Joyce Synek, was acquitted earlier of charges that she lied to a grand jury and destroyed documents, and it appears that the case has now concluded with a complete victory for her as well, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Top County Prosecutor & Executive Assistant Indicted in Political Corruption Case”

ABAJournal.com: “Prosecutor Accused of Using County Resources to Boost his Political Campaign goes on Trial”

Updated at 4:25 p.m. to include information from Chicago Sun-Times.

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