Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dalby's Prosecutor Received $150,000 in Contracts from Illinois Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor

Orland Park attorney David O'Connor, specifically requested by McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi to be the special prosecutor of Amy Dalby, has received contracts totaling $151,200 since 2007 from the Illinois Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor (ILSAAP).

These contracts were for designing, developing and implementing training programs for the Agency.  State records show annual contracts of $25,000 for both 2007 and 2008, $35,200 in 2009, and $66,000 in 2010.  For the first two years, his contracts broke down his hourly rate of $145.  

Several of O'Connor's ILSAAP contracts were in effect while he was the special prosecutor of Dalby for the removal of computer files from the state's attorney's office.  During this time, ILSAAP had an active, but mostly quiet, role on behalf of Bianchi.  A contracted media consultant for ILSAAP began working extensively behind the scenes with Bianchi starting Oct. 1, 2007 and continued through June 2009.  Per the request of the McHenry County State's Attorney, ILSAAP's Chuck Colburn intervened on a petition for a special prosecutor to investigate Bianchi prior to Dalby's indictment in March 2009.

Colburn, now representing the McHenry County Board, argued before Judge Gordon Graham last week that special prosecutors should be paid at the same hourly rate as state's attorneys -- about $91.50 per hour.  

Special prosecutors of Bianchi have charged McHenry County $250 per hour, reportedly the same rate of O'Connor as special prosecutor of Dalby. Comparatively little media attention and public scrutiny were given to O'Connor's bill which totaled $65,000.  O'Connor's case against Dalby never made it to trial, as all felony charges were dropped within several months of her indictment.

Critics of charges for the investigation and prosecution of Bianchi rallied for the recent passage of an Illinois House bill (HB2558) capping the hourly rate of special prosecutors appointed outside of ILSAAP.  The bill also gives the Agency considerably more power as to which special prosecutions around the state would take place and who would conduct them.    

On Mar. 5, 2009, it was reported that Dalby was indicted with six felony charges and one misdemeanor related to her removal of certain computer files.  Several days later, a press release regarding Dalby's indictment was issued with O'Connor's name on the top, stating: Before criminal charges are brought, the prosecutor must ethically consider the law, all facts, circumstances, motivations, and the legal admissibility of evidence.  

On Mar. 18, 2009, the Daily Herald published, "I Took Files to Expose Crimes, Says McHenry County Official's Ex-Secretary."  According to the article, Dalby claimed that she removed evidence to prove that she was asked to perform political activities while on the job.  Several months later, all felony charges against Dalby were dropped.  She pled guilty to one misdemeanor.  

O'Connor is also founder of O'Connor Law Offices, LLC in Orland Park servicing criminal defense, fire and police commission representation, medical malpractice and catastrophic injury and death.  He serves as chairman of Orland Park's Board of Fire and Police Commission.

McHenry Leaks asks:

Instead of focusing on costs of special prosecutors, shouldn't we first scrutinize the multiple associations of ILSAAP and McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi?

Is it appropriate for special prosecutor fees to be capped at $91.50 per hour while an ILSAAP seminar coordinator/instructor is paid $145 per hour or more? 

If HB2558 passes as written, what is to prevent ILSAAP from appointing cronies to be special prosecutors?

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