Reporting Steve Miller
CHICAGO (CBS) – Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has written a scathing letter to Gov. Pat Quinn, saying the state board that looks into police torture allegations has acted illegally.
WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller reports Alvarez has told the governor the state’s Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission’s failure to include some victims’ families in the review process is reprehensible and illegal.
“There’s no oversight to this commission. I don’t know who they report to, if anybody. I don’t think anybody’s watching or vetting what they’re doing,” she said.
Alvarez said she thinks the governor should take a good look at the TIRC.
The commission had decided that 17 convicted murderers should be further evaluated for a possible new trial, but as Newsradio 780 first reported, the commission has now withdrawn its decisions in three of those cases and admitted “flaws in the victim notification process.”
“It seems like this is a one-sided proceeding,” Alvarez said. “It’s clear that victims – or the families of victims of these horrific crimes – are supposed to be contacted. They’re supposed to be notified 30 days before any proceeding held by this commission. And that hasn’t been happening.”
Alvarez called the commission’s review of one case “flawed, biased and offensive.”
“It appears they’re having these proceedings and they are closed-door,” she added.
Governor Quinn released a statement saying the “failure to inform the families is 100 percent unacceptable.”
David Thomas, the director of the commission, said he apologizes once more.
“We are committed to ensuring that this never happens again,” he added.