Duebbert, Robinson and Enyart
BELLEVILLE – Former judge Ron Duebbert, whose malicious prosecution suit failed in federal court, filed it in St. Clair County circuit court on Jan. 17.
He followed direction from Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Mills of Peoria, who ruled in December that the suit belonged in state court.
Duebbert alleges malice, conspiracy, and intentional infliction of distress.
He seeks damages from former state’s attorney Brendan Kelly, the county, Belleville policemen Timothy Crimm and Daniel Collins, and the city.
He seeks damages from prosecutors Lorinda Lamken-Finnell and David Robinson and their employer, the State’s Attorneys’ Appellate Prosecutor.
He seeks damages from Carlos Rodriguez, who signed an affidavit alleging sexual abuse, and lawyer Alex Enyart, who represented Rodriguez.
The affidavit formed the entire basis of felony and misdemeanor charges that Lamken-Finnell and Robinson filed in 2017.
Lamken-Finnell and Robinson dismissed all charges in 2018, after producing messages to Duebbert about Rodriguez embellishing the affidavit.
In Duebbert’s complaint, his attorney Michael Lawder of St. Louis alleges that Kelly directed the investigation and continued participating after state prosecutors took over.
He wrote that Kelly was involved in directing or consenting to fabrication of evidence and in suppression of evidence tending to prove innocence.
He asserted the same allegation against the prosecutors and the police.
He wrote that Rodriguez swore under oath one or more false affidavits, and that Enyart helped to procure them.
Duebbert represented Rodriguez as criminal defense counsel until November 2016, when voters of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit elected him as circuit judge.
Duebbert turned Rodriguez’s defense over to Dedra Brock-Moore, who negotiated a guilty plea on a felony charge of fleeing or attempting to elude police.
Rodriguez soon moved to withdraw his plea, with Enyart as his counsel.
According to Duebbert’s complaint, Enyart and Rodriguez presented themselves to Belleville police on Sept. 27, 2017.
Lawder wrote that Enyart presented the affidavit to Collins and Crimm.
He wrote that Rodriguez did not at any time make any statement whatsoever to the multiple investigating authorities involved in the case.
“Enyart, Collins, Crimm, Kelly, Robinson, and Lamken-Finnell were all aware of the falsity of the information and averments of the defendant Rodriguez’s affidavit at that time,” Lawder wrote.
On Oct. 25, 2017, according to the lawsuit, Enyart sent Lamken-Finnell a text message stating that Rodriguez embellished the affidavit.
On Oct. 31, 2017, former judge Jan Fiss granted withdrawal of Rodriguez’s guilty plea.
On Nov. 6, 2017, Lamken-Finnell and Robinson filed felony charges of abuse and intimidation and misdemeanor charges of battery and solicitation of a sexual act.
Lawder wrote that the charges carried possible incarceration for two to five years along with substantial fines.
He wrote that on Dec. 13, 2017, defendants produced discovery but did not provide the text messages about embellishing.
He wrote that Illinois law, criminal court rules, and U.S. Supreme Court case law required defendants to provide exculpatory messages.
“Here the texts were sent and received before formal criminal charges were filed against plaintiff Duebbert,” Lawder wrote.
On Feb. 18, 2018, he wrote, defendants sent Duebbert an offer to plead guilty, pay a $1,000 fine, and agree to a month in county jail.
On May 5, 2018, he wrote, defendants provided the text messages.
On June 19, 2018, he wrote, Duebbert moved for production of all communications between Enyart and prosecutors, as well as access to Enyart’s telephone.
Visiting judge Michael McHaney granted the motion on June 26, 2018.
On July 6, 2018, Lamken-Finnell and Robinson dropped the charges.
Lawder wrote that Belleville, Crimm and Collins pinned Duebbert at the top of its Facebook page for more than a year in a clear demonstration of malice.
He wrote that Duebbert’s reputation has been defamed and damaged severely, and that he has been traumatized by false accusations.
“These judicial criminal proceedings were instituted and continued maliciously, resulting in injury, and all such proceedings were ultimately terminated in Duebbert’s favor in a manner indicative of innocence,” he wrote.
He wrote that defendants made statements with knowledge that the statements were false and perjured.
He requested compensatory and punitive damages.