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McHenry County State’s Attorney Sues Over His Prosecution

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McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi (Credit: www.co.mchenry.il.us)

McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi (Credit: http://www.co.mchenry.il.us)

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WOODSTOCK, Ill. (CBS) — McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi is launching counterattacks against special prosecutors who charged him with corruption.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, Terry Ekl, the attorney for Bianchi, says the state’s attorney would never have filed suit if he didn’t believe his prosecution had been politically motivated.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“What we did is we filed a federal civil rights suit, contending that the special prosecutors and their investigators engaged in a course of misconduct in connection with the investigation and prosecution of Mr. Bianchi,” Ekl said.

In August of last year, a judge issued a directed verdict and declared Bianchi not guilty on all counts of professional misconduct.

An earlier trial ended in March, with a directed verdict of not guilty by the same judge, Winnebago County Judge Joseph McGraw.

The August charges alleged that Bianchi in 2010 ordered an assistant state’s attorney to persuade a victim in a pending disorderly conduct case to accept an apology from a defendant in return for dropping the case. The defendant and his relatives were campaign contributors and he was associated with the defendant’s family through a pro-life organization, Special Prosecutor Thomas McQueen alleged during the trial.

Also charged in the new indictments were investigators Ronald Salgado and Michael McCleary. Salgado and Bianchi ordered an assistant state’s attorney to lower the prison term in a drug case involving Salgado’s nephew, the indictment alleges.

The charges against Salgado and McCleary were dropped prior to the trial, as were charges that Bianchi in 2010 also ordered an assistant to delay a pending case against his nephew until a diversion program for first offenders was operating in the county.

Now, Bianchi is asking for damages, alleging in federal court, that his civil rights had been violated by unwarranted prosecutions in McHenry County.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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