Association Closely Affiliated with State Agency Representing McHenry County in Illinois Appellate Court Case Objecting Payment to Bianchi's Special Prosecutors Recently Supported Public Payment of Legal Fees for Ekl's Client -- Former Edgar County State's Attorney -- by Filing "Friend of the Court" Brief
The Illinois State's Attorneys Association filed an an amicus curiae "friend of the court" brief on Sept. 22, 2010 supporting public payment of legal fees for former Edgar County State's Attorney Michael McFatridge involved in ongoing high-profile federal civil lawsuits, represented by Terry Ekl, according to court documents.
Ekl is also the attorney for McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi. Bianchi was indicted ten days prior to this filing.
Board minutes report that the Illinois Office of the State's Attorneys Appellate Prosecutor (ILSAAP) Board of Governors unanimously approved the filing of this brief by the Association, a non-profit corporation closely affiliated with ILSAAP apparently not subject to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act.
While ILSAAP agreed that the Association was to be a "friend of the court" supporting McFatridge's petition for a writ of mandamus for payment of legal fees as a state official, it has taken an adversarial position on the bills of Bianchi's special prosecutors Henry Tonigan and Thomas McQueen.
First Electric Newspaper reported that ILSAAP special prosecutor Chuck Colburn last month asked the Second District Appellate Court to overturn McHenry County Circuit Court Judge Gordon Graham's refusal to reduce payments to Tonigan and McQueen.
Colburn ILSAAP's highly-publicized motion to Nolle Prosequi Without Prejudice was for the release of Herb Whitlock who had been convicted 21 years earlier, along with Gordon "Randy" Steidl, for the 1986 murders of Dyke and Karen Rhoads of Paris, IL. The granted motion, however, provided no finality for Whitlock; ILSAAP still asserts that he and Steidl are under suspicion and require additional investigation.
Whitlock and Steidl have filed wrongful conviction lawsuits against McFatridge et al, leading to the Association's amicus curiae brief.
Following are documents related to the amicus curiae brief filed by the Illinois State's Attorneys Association filed on Sept. 22, 2010. To enlarge, click or double-click the image: