REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL JUSTICE

 

June 13, 2007

 

The Honorable,

The Board of Commissioners of Cook County

 

ATTENDANCE

 

Present:

Chairman Collins, Vice Chairman Beavers, Commissioners Butler, Claypool, Daley, Gorman, Goslin, Moreno, Murphy, Peraica, Quigley, Schneider, Silvestri, Sims and Suffredin (15)

 

Absent:

Commissioners Maldonado and Steele (2)

 

Also Present:

 

Patrick Driscoll – Deputy State’s Attorney, Chief, Civil Actions Bureau

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

        Your Committee on Criminal Justice of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County met pursuant to notice on Wednesday, June 13, 2007 at the hour of 10:30 A.M. in the Board Room, Room 569, County Building, 118 North Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois.

 

        Your Committee has considered the following items and, upon adoption of this report, the recommendations are as follows:

 

286858

RESOLUTION REGARDING THE REPORT OF SPECIAL PROSECUTORS EDWARD J. EGAN AND ROBERT D. BOYLE (PROPOSED RESOLUTION).  Submitting a Proposed Resolution sponsored by Earlean Collins, Forrest Claypool, Joan Patricia Murphy, Anthony J. Peraica, Mike Quigley, Deborah Sims and Larry Suffredin, Cook County Commissioners.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTION

 

REPORT OF SPECIAL PROSECUTORS

EDWARD J. EGAN AND ROBERT D. BOYLE

 

WHEREAS, Cook County is a home rule unit of local government pursuant to Article VII Section 6(a) of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, and as such may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs; and

 

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2002, The Hon. Paul Biebel, Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, appointed Edward J. Egan as Special State’s Attorney and Robert D. Boyle as Chief Deputy Special State’s Attorney to investigate allegations that Area 2 Violent Crimes Commander Jon Burge and Chicago Police officers under his command had systematically tortured scores of African American citizens at the Area 2 police headquarters; and

 

 

WHEREAS, any special prosecutor appointed to investigate a matter of significant concern in the Cook County criminal justice system shoulders a grave responsibility to discharge his duties with dispatch, independence and with appropriate zeal in order that the laws may be enforced and public confidence in the justice system affirmed; and

 

WHEREAS, the investigation conducted by special prosecutors Egan and Boyle consumed over four years and cost the tax payers of Cook County $7 million; and

 

WHEREAS, it has been acknowledged, in opinions of the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Chicago Police Department’s own Office of Professional Standards, and elsewhere that Burge and his subordinates committed numerous acts of torture against African American men at Area 2 Police headquarters; and

 

WHEREAS, it is common knowledge that African Americans represent approximately 70% of the population in Illinois prisons, jails and the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center; and

 

WHEREAS, Egan and Boyle themselves acknowledged in a written report that there was evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that certain individuals had been abused by Burge and Area 2 detectives under his command, and that there was reason to believe that abuse occurred in “many other cases,”; and

 

WHEREAS, it is alleged that shortly after their appointment special prosecutors Egan and Boyle were presented with evidence of indictable offenses committed by Burge and Area 2 detectives under his command and that such offenses had occurred within the three year Illinois statute of limitations; and

 

WHEREAS, special prosecutors Egan and Boyle sought no indictments at the conclusion of their investigation, claiming that the statute of limitations barred prosecution of any of the perpetrators of Area 2 torture; and

 

WHEREAS, more than 210 individuals and organizations active in the areas of human rights, criminal justice, civil rights and racial justice have prepared a report entitled Report On The Failure Of Special Prosecutors Edward J. Egan And Robert D. Boyle To Fairly Investigate Systemic Police Torture In Chicago which requests a hearing on these issues.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Criminal Justice Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners conduct a public hearing on the investigation conducted by Special State’s Attorney’s Edward J. Egan and Robert D. Boyle.

 

*Referred to the Committee on Criminal Justice 05/15/07.

*Deferred to t   *Deferred in the Committee on Criminal Justice 06/13/07.

 

Chairman Collins asked the Secretary to the Board to read the statement from the Office of the Special Prosecutor into the record.  (See attached #1.)

 

Chairman Collins stated:  Throughout this process the Office of the Special Prosecutor Edward J. Egan, Special State’s Attorney and Robert D. Boyle, Deputy Special State’s Attorney have declined to appear before the Cook County Board of Commissioners for four years.  The State’s Attorney Office is not and should not consider itself the Executive Branch of this Board.  The State’s Attorney’s responsibility is prosecutorial and to represent the Cook County Board of Commissioners in all civil cases. 

 

Chairman Collins asked the Secretary to the Board to call upon the registered public speakers.

 

Mr. Locke E. Bowman, Legal Director and Clinical Associate Professor – The MacArthur Justice Center addressed the Committee on Criminal Justice by reading his statement into the record.  (See attachment #2.)

 

Commissioner Peraica asked Mr. Bowman whether he referred his responses to the Special Prosecutor’s report to the Federal authorities, in particular to the U. S. Attorneys Office in the Northern District of Illinois.

 

Mr. Bowman replied yes.

 

Commissioner Silvestri asked whether there are any remedies in the lawsuits.

 

Mr. Bowman replied:  The lawsuits that are pending on behalf of torture victims seek monetary damages only.  In addition, those who are suing and a number of others individuals have concluded that they do not have a timely basis on which to sue.  The victims who were victimized by torture suffer ongoing affects of the torture. There are victims presuming no remedies in court.  There are 26 individuals victimized by torture and who remain in prison today.

 

Commissioner Claypool inquired whether the statue of limitation in a cover-up can be frozen.

 

Mr. Bowman responded that in certain circumstances the statue of limitations can legally be towed.  There are circumstances in which no one could have possibility known about the crime that was committed.

 

Commissioner Quigley inquired about the missed opportunities.

 

Mr. Bowman stated:  The Special Prosecutor missed opportunities beginning with his appointment in 2002.  There had been perjury committed if you accept the proposition that there was torture and abuse at area 2, which everyone seems to have accepted at this point.  If you compare that reality against the testimony that John Byrne gave in March 2001 you can only conclude that he committed perjury in March 2001 well within the 3 years statute within a year prior to the appointment of the Special Prosecutor.  I don’t known why the opportunity missed never has been explained to anyone.  Fundamentally, what we have here is a statue of limitation those 3 years in length for crimes.  We have an investigation that took 4 years to complete; to spend 4 years investigating crimes that you have to prosecute within 3 years does not make sense if you have any intention whatsoever to proceed in good faith.  The missed opportunities continued to accumulate over the course of the investigation under the nose of the Special Prosecutor, when lies were told to the grand jury and in the Federal proceedings and well known to the Special Prosecutor when they appeared in the investigation.

 

Commissioners Butler and Sims excused themselves from the meeting to attend a previously scheduled meeting at Provident Hospital.

 

Chairman Collins asked the public speakers to continue to seek help from their elected officials such as Congressman Danny Davis and others.

 

Public Speakers       

 

1)         Madison Hobley

2)         Anthony Holmes

3)         David Orr

4)         Sandra Zakowski

5)         Joey Mogul

6)         Andrea Ritchie

7)         Standish E. Willis

8)         Flint Taylor

9)         Larry Kennon

10)      Wallace “Gator” Bradley

11)      Julian Pall

12)      Virginia Clements

13)      Catherine McMillan

14)      George Blakemore

15)      Bertha Escomilla

16)      Carolyn Johnson

17)      Robin Kaufman

18)      Mary L. Johnson

19)      Anthony Holmes

20)      Kurt Fener

21)      Jeanette Johnson

 

287223

PROGRESS REVIEW OF THE COOK COUNTY JUVENILE TEMPORARY DETENTION CENTER (PROPOSED RESOLUTION).  Submitting a Proposed Resolution sponsored by Earlean Collins, County Commissioner.

 

PROPOSED RESOLUTION

 

PROGRESS REVIEW OF THE COOK COUNTY

JUVENILE TEMPORARY DETENTION CENTER

 

 

WHEREAS, Cook County is a home rule unit of local government pursuant to Article VII, Section 6(a) of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, and as such may exercise any power and perform any function pertaining to its government and affairs; and

 

WHEREAS, on June 15, 1999 juveniles detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center (“JTDC”) filed suit against Cook County seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to redress violations of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and

 

WHEREAS, on December 20, 2002 Cook County entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (“MOA”) in which they agreed to create and implement a plan to house residents of the JTDC in an environment that, at a minimum, is safe and clean, is free from excessive and unfair discipline, and provides adequate care and services, including adequate food, shelter, medical services, mental health care, and provides an adequate environment for educational services, including security and transportation services; and

 

WHEREAS, the court appointed Michael J. Mahoney and Charles A. Fasano as monitors to oversee the implementation of the MOA; and

 

WHEREAS, over a three year period neither monitors, experts or other officials have been able to satisfy the conditions as set forth in the MOA; and

 

WHEREAS, with additional allegations of abuse the FBI and Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that they were conducting investigations of the JTDC; and

 

WHEREAS, on November 8, 2005 plaintiffs, unsatisfied with the progress being made towards complying with the MOA, filed a Petition to Enforce Cook County to fulfill the terms of the MOA; and

 

WHEREAS, on May 18, 2006 both parties again entered into an Agreed Supplemental Order (“ASO”) in which the court monitors and their designees (Dr. David Roush, Carl Sanniti, Dr. Louis Kraus and Dr. Michael Cohen) would present a Modified Implementation Plan (“MIP”), to Cook County, designed to bring the JTDC into substantial compliance with the MOA within six (6) months of its approval; and

 

WHEREAS, on June 6, 2006 U.S. District Judge John Nordberg appointed Brenda Welch to oversee changes at the JTDC; and

 

WHEREAS, subsequently, Brenda Welch has reported that the JTDC has not fully complied with the MIP and that the staff appears resistance to reform and new ideas and that the JTDC has failed to follow up on accusations of abuse and that alleged abuse by staff members persisted after retraining; and

 

WHEREAS, Cook County has expended approximately $300,000.00 on a court appointed compliance administrator, court appointed monitors and experts in an attempt to correct the problems plaguing the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Criminal Justice Committee of the Cook County Board of Commissioners conduct a public hearing to review the progress being made toward complying with the 2002 Memorandum of Agreement, the 2006 Agreed Supplemental Order and the 2007 Modified Implementation Plan.

 

*Referred to the Committee on Criminal Justice 06/5/07.

*Deferred in the Committee on Criminal Justice 06/13/07.

 

Commissioner Daley, seconded by Commissioner Claypool, moved to defer Communication Nos. 286858 and 287223. The motion carried.

 

Commissioner Silvestri moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Commissioner Daley.  The motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.

 

YOUR COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THE FOLLOWING ACTION WITH REGARD TO THE MATTERS NAMED HEREIN:

 

Communication Number 286858                            Deferred

 

Communication Number 287223                            Deferred

 

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Committee on Criminal Justice

 

 

 

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Earlean Collins, Chairman

 

 

Attest:

 

 

 

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Matthew B. DeLeon, Secretary

 

The complete audio recording of this meeting is available in the Office of the Secretary to the Board, 118 North Clark Street, Room 567, Chicago, IL  60602.