What happened to convicted cop’s missing wife? Suspended lawyer can't tell, judge rules
Joel Brodsky. Photo from the Law Offices of Joel A. Brodsky.
An Illinois judge last week told suspended lawyer Joel Brodsky that he can’t violate a former client’s confidences by revealing what happened to a missing woman.
During a May 19 hearing, Judge Edward Burmila of Will County, Illinois, placed a gag order on Brodsky, who represented former Chicago-area police officer Drew Peterson when he was convicted in September 2012 for killing his third wife in 2004. Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, has been missing since 2007, and Brodsky said he knows where she is.
Burmila ruled after Brodsky told WGN Radio and WGN Investigates that he is thinking about revealing the information within months, possibly in a book or a podcast. Any information would be released in collaboration with police and Stacy Peterson’s sister, he said.
Brodsky said he wouldn’t disclose anything now, but he said there is “no blue barrel.” The reference is to reports that police suspected that Peterson used a blue plastic barrel to dispose of Stacy Peterson’s body, according to ABC News.
Brodsky said he wouldn’t be violating attorney-client privilege because Peterson had lied about him and claimed ineffective assistance of counsel. And he told WGN Investigates that disclosing the information wouldn’t hurt Peterson because he won’t be getting out of jail.
Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He was also convicted in 2016 for soliciting the murder of a prosecutor in the Savio case and sentenced to an additional 40 years in prison.
During the court hearing on the gag order, Peterson’s public defender argued that a revelation by Brodsky could harm Peterson’s bid for a new trial.
Burmila agreed on the need for secrecy, according to WGN 9.
“This may be the most vile crime in the U.S., but [defendants] still have a right to speak in confidence with their attorney,” Burmila said.
Brodsky was suspended in 2019 in connection with his conduct in different cases. He was accused of sending “vitriolic emails” to opposing counsel, making false claims and including “inappropriate diatribes” in pleadings.
The suspension has ended, but Brodsky has not applied for reinstatement.