Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bianchi's Judge to Instruct May 3 for Illinois Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor

Winnebago County Judge Joseph McGraw, who last month ruled in favor of McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi in a swift directed verdict and is also presiding at Bianchi's upcoming trial, is scheduled to instruct at a training seminar for the Illinois Office of the State’s Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor (ILSAAP) May 2 - 6 in Naperville

The upcoming training seminar features McGraw on a three-person panel discussion next Tuesday for pre-trial motions with LaSalle County State's Attorney Brian Towne and St. Clair County Chief of Criminal Division Steve Sallerson, according to a course schedule found on the Agency's website.  David O'Connor of Orland Park is shown as the course's coordinator.

In 2010, ILSAAP paid McGraw $625 per day in instructor's fees for two seminars. Since 2005, McGraw has received $18,404 in payments from ILSAAP for instructing at training seminars for assistant state's attorneys.  

The most recent payment to McGraw was $3,125 for services from Oct. 25 - 29, 2010, including a three-person panel discussion on pre-trial motions with O'Connor on Oct. 25th -- three days after McGraw's first hearing involving Bianchi.

O'Connor was the special prosecutor specifically requested by Bianchi to investigate Amy Dalby, a former employee of the state's attorney's office and a key witness against Bianchi in the case before McGraw last month.  ILSAAP training seminars are coordinated by O’Connor who has had contracts renewed annually since since 2007 totaling $150,000.

ILSAAP was created to provide services to state's attorneys including appellate cases, certain drug-related cases and special prosecutions.  (725 ILCS 210)  The entity's Board of Governors is comprised of nine state's attorneys from around the state.  At the time of this publication, a photo of Bianchi standing with ILSAAP executive staff and members of the Board of Governors is in rotation on the home page of the entity's website. 

In September 2010, McGraw was appointed to preside over the combined 26 felony charges of conspiracy, misconduct and obstruction of justice by Bianchi and his secretary, Joyce Synek.  Bianchi opted for a bench trial in February.  Last month, McGraw declared Bianchi and Synek not guilty of all charges in an unusual directed verdict several hours after the prosecution rested their case and before the defense offered any evidence.  A second trial for additional felony charges against Bianchi and others is scheduled for June.

The Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct guides judges to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen yesterday made public a motion asking for McGraw's removal in proceedings for Bianchi's upcoming trial.

McHenryLeaks Asks:

Exactly what was the process the Illinois Supreme Court used to appoint McGraw to this case?

As the course coordinator, does O'Connor extend invitations to instructors? 

Following are documents pertaining to Judge McGraw, David O'Connor and ILSAAP. To enlarge, click the image: