St. Clair County Associate Judge Randall Kelley has set a June 1 hearing on a motion to reconsider his verdict finding Brad Van Hoose guilty of misdemeanor assault.
At a status conference on May 17, Kelley asked special prosecutor David Rands if he wanted to respond to Van Hoose’s charge that he concealed evidence.
Rands said yes.
“This changes the playing field significantly, from my evaluation,” Kelley said.
Prior to the hearing, Van Hoose filed a complaint against Rands with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission.
Van Hoose alleged that Rands failed to produce a Federal Bureau of Investigation report that would have helped his defense.
Van Hoose, who has represented himself since his trial, obtained the FBI report by asking Rands to produce all records in his case file.
At the status conference, Van Hoose said the report doesn’t carry a file stamp showing its origination.
He asked if the report came through Caseyville police or straight from the FBI.
“I am not prepared to answer any questions,” Rands said.
Van Hoose told Kelley he has asked the FBI for its entire case file.
“If you get new stuff, let me know,” Kelley said.
The case required a special prosecutor because Van Hoose had given a deposition as a witness for the county in a civil suit.
Rands presented the Van Hoose case to grand jurors last September, and they indicted Van Hoose on a felony charge of threatening Caseyville mayor Leonard Black.
Van Hoose and his trial counsel, Jack Daugherty, chose a bench trial over a jury.
At trial in February, Rands presented testimony from Black, eyewitness Bob Romanik, and Caseyville police chief Frank Moore.
Kelley rejected the felony charge, finding Van Hoose’s speech did not pertain to Black’s official duties.
Kelley then found Van Hoose guilty of misdemeanor assault.
Van Hoose chose to seek reconsideration, rather than petition for review at the Fifth District appellate court in Mount Vernon.
On March 15, he filed a document that he titled as a motion to reconsider.
He wrote that Daugherty withdrew as his counsel.
He received notice that Kelley would hear the motion on May 1.
On April 26, Kelley canceled the hearing and denied the motion.
He ruled that he lacked jurisdiction over Van Hoose’s document because Daugherty had not withdrawn.
Van Hoose then asked Rands for his file, and Rands provided it.
It contained a copy of a withdrawal motion that Daugherty signed, bearing a March 8 file stamp of State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.
The original motion doesn’t appear in records of Circuit Clerk Kahalah Clay.
On May 10, Van Hoose received notice of a status conference on May 17.
On May 12, Daugherty received notice of the conference.
As the hearing began, with Daugherty present, Kelley addressed the mystery of the withdrawal motion in the records of the state’s attorney.
“I have no idea how they got it and it never ended up on the third floor,” Kelley said.
“I apologize that I didn’t have everything in front of me so I could respond appropriately to what was in front of me.
“If you need to go to the appellate court, the record will reflect that there will be no impediment.
“I would welcome what the appellate court would have to say.”
He asked Van Hoose if he wished to proceed as his own counsel.
Van Hoose said, “At this time, yes.”
Kelley asked Daugherty to prepare an order for his withdrawal.
Daugherty wrote it and Kelley signed it.
Kelley said he would adopt the reconsideration motion.
Van Hoose asked about his deadline to appeal.
Kelley said, “You have no appellate deadline because your motion to reconsider has tolled all time.”