IL Attorney General's Office seeks to withdraw motion to vacate order finding conflict of interest in Madison County raid case

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Aug 1, 2018

After filing a motion to vacate an order finding that a conflict of interest exists in regards to a raid at the Madison County administration building six months ago, the Office of the Illinois Attorney General now seeks to withdraw its petition.

Assistant attorney general Andrew McGinley filed a motion to withdraw the petition on July 27. He did not provide any details on why the Office of the Illinois Attorney General wants to vacate its petition. 

McGinley had filed the petition to vacate the order on June 20, arguing that the circuit court “is required to contact the Office of the Attorney General to determine if it is willing and able to accept the appointment.”

“Further, the order is not binding because, as the Attorney General’s Office was not a party to this matter at the time the order was entered, this court did not have personal jurisdiction over the Office at the time the June 8, 2008 (sic) order was entered,” the petition states. 

In a memorandum of law in support of the petition, McGinley wrote that the court “cannot impose legal obligations” without having personal jurisdiction over the Illinois Attorney General’s Office when the order was entered. 

Visiting Associate Judge Jerry Crisel of the Second Judicial Circuit entered the order finding a conflict of interest on June 8, roughly one month after a May 10 hearing. Crisel removed the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office from any investigation or prosecution of those involved in the raids and appointed the Illinois Attorney General “to carry out the task with all deliberate speed.”

He granted in part and denied in part two motions for an order finding a conflict of interest exists in the case, which involves a high-profile, mid-day raid on Jan 10. Computers and other records were taken from the offices of county administrator Doug Hulme, IT director Rob Dorman and the county’s former FOIA officer Cynthia Ellis.

He found that “an actual conflict of interest exists between the legal duties of the State’s Attorney and the Petitioners in their capacity as current or former county officials.”

However, Crisel denied the petitioners’ request to appoint private counsel at the county’s expense, finding that “the sitting State’s Attorney is still charged with that duty, the conflict having been removed.”

The motions seeking an order of a conflict of interest were filed by Hulme, Dorman, County Board chairman Kurt Prenzler and former county employee Stephen Adler. Adler is the current executive director of the Metro East Sanitary District.

While Prenzler’s office was not subject to the raid, he joined the other county officials as a petitioner in their conflict of interest dispute. Prenzler was unable to attend a May 10 hearing.

Hulme and Dorman were present at the hearing with attorney G. Edward Moorman of Alton.

Adler was present with Alton attorney Amy Sholar.

Gibbons was present with assistant state’s attorney Jeff Ezra.

Crisel was assigned to preside over the question of a conflict of interest on Feb. 28 after Madison County Chief Judge David Hylla requested a visiting judge be assigned to the case.

Ellis has not argued that a conflict of interest exists and was not present at the hearing. 

 

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Illinois Attorney General Madison County Circuit Court Madison County State's Attorney's Office

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