If you haven’t caught up with this story, please refer back to here and here first.
When we last left off, we were awaiting the hearing that would determine whether the privileged public defender emails “accidentally” obtained by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office would torpedo the Daniel Rak murder trial.
But Public Defender Kelli Childress’ motion to dismiss the charges got pushed back to April 4 after a Judge D. J. Tegeler trial went into overtime. Perhaps the 16th Circuit should adopt an NHL style shootout system.
But that temporary respite hasn’t stopped special prosecutor and Hinshaw and Culbertson attorney, Daniel Purdom, from tripling down on the kind of indefensible act that makes the President’s wiretapping claim seem plausible.
In a sweeping condemnation reminiscent of a Trump tweet, citing a Childress email that stated she didn’t believe the privileged emails were read, Purdom declared:
“If anyone has caused actual harm or prejudice to these proceedings, causing judicial resources to be wasted it’s Childress. It is clear that PD Childress only makes these allegations for purposes of gaining plea leverage.
These allegations are entirely unsupported and made in bad faith. Nonetheless, despite that this (eavesdropping) statute is unapplicable, ironically it made its way into a Daily Herald newspaper article. It is readily apparent that these allegations are present only for the purposes of making salacious, outrageous claims, and for no legitimate purpose.”
(By the way Dan, the word is “inapplicable.”)
Yikes! That makes Childress sound even worse than me and that’s not an easy thing to do. “Salacious?” I’d also suggest Purdom look up that word and consider whether he’d apply it to a male attorney’s motion.
I won’t bore you with the rest of the attack. Suffice it to say it’s the kind of thing you say when you don’t have anything substantive to say. But before we get into the heart of my rebuttal, let’s address the irony of Purdom’s “wasting resources” claim.
Maybe it’s just me, but isn’t State’s Attorney Joe McMahon’s decision to hire his old law firm to defend this motion a massive waste of resources too? Hinshaw and Culbertson don’t have a reputation for giving their clients a break.
Or better yet, perhaps if McMahon wasn’t so busy prosecuting high-profile Chicago cases on the Kane County taxpayer’s dime, he could’ve handled this one himself. But that wouldn’t help him land the federal prosecutor job he so covets, now would it.
But I digress!
I don’t believe Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah Lang read those emails either. BUT THAT’S NOT THE BLEEPING POINT. It utterly astounds me that the very folks charged with carrying the weight of the people believe the standards they’re sworn to uphold don’t apply to them.
At least Lang’s original memory lapse about “obtaining” the emails showed some sense of guilt. But not Assistant State’s Attorney Alex Bederka, the actual Rak prosecutor. He’s the one they had in mind when they wrote the joke:
“What’s the difference between Alex and God? God doesn’t think he’s Alex Bederka.”
Bederka would never let a DUI defendant get away with a motion claiming, “You have to let me go because there’s no harm done. I made it home without killing or maiming anyone.” But that’s exactly what he and the state’s attorney’s office are trying to do here.
We prosecute drunk drivers who don’t do damage so they won’t do damage the next time. It doesn’t matter whether those emails were read. Bad acts, intentional or not, cannot be rewarded. Our justice system has a vested interest in deterring this kind of blatant prosecutorial overreach.
Though he certainly hasn’t sought my opinion, Judge Tegeler should toss the Rak case faster than Kellyanne Conway from a Mensa meeting. Any other ruling would send a message that prosecutors can get away with the kind of malfeasance that would put the rest of us regular folks in jail.
And I can’t wait for Purdom’s response to this piece.
All I can tell you is, after all of this, I’m thinking of running for state’s attorney. Clearly, a law degree only gets in the way.