Defense Attorney Terry Ekl said Monday he's still not sure how the expensive failed Special Prosecution of McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi came about but a new Illinois law makes it unlikely to be repeated. Governor Pat Quinn without comment signed a bill Friday that makes Special Prosecutors the last choice if a State's Attorney ever needs investigating again.
After poring over newly-revealed court records Ekl said, "I have never found anything to explain why an effort was not made by Judge Graham to give the matter to the Appellate Special Prosecutor or the Attorney General or to a State's Attorney in another County before assigning it to Tonigan and McQueen." Those, in fact, are the three alternatives the new law says should be explored before resorting to a Special Prosecutor.
The law also gives a county a say in setting compensation for a Special Prosecutor. How much McHenry County should have to pay Special Prosecutors Henry "Skip" Tonigan and Thomas McQueen for the cases that resulted in Bianchi's acquittal without a defense is currently being appealed.
State Rep. Ken Gaffney proposed the new law in March. It passed the House without opposition a couple of days after and the Senate, also without opposition, in May. The Legislature sent it to the Governor in June.