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July 18, 2024

Taxpayers footing the bill?

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On November 27, 2011

Here is a gem from upstate Illinois…………..that comes back to Edgar County!

Still another possibility, according to Johnston, would be to find some other agency to foot the bill.  If it had been a civil case, for instance, Johnston said, the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor or the Attorney General might have been obligated to defend Bianchi.  At the moment downstate Edgar County is trying to convince an appeals court the AG ought to pay the defense of former State’s Attorney Michael McFatridge in such a civil case. A man who claims he was railroaded on a murder charge 23 years ago wants McFatridge and Edgar County to be pay for his prison time. Interestingly, Ekl happens to be the defense attorney.

The charges against Bianchi were criminal ones, though, so the law officially provides no public obligation, according to Johnston.  But current Edgar County State’s Attorney Mark Isaf makes an argument that maybe it ought to.  The risk of prosecution like Bianchi endured “would have a chilling effect” on most State’s Attorneys he said.

“It’s almost part of the job to irritate people,” he said. “You can’t do a good job looking over your shoulder all the time worrying somebody’s going to indict you,” however, said Isaf.  “Shouldn’t there be some protection against all this?” he asked.


Our States Attorney claims you cant do a good job looking over your shoulder all the time worrying somebody is going to indict you? 

Is this for real?  Why would ANY States Attorney worry about being indicted if  they are doing their job properly?  Complying with the law ensures there is nothing to worry about!   

I think the protection Mr. Isaf seeks against being indicted would be to follow the law, not figure out a way for the tax payers to pick up the tab for your defense if ever needed! 

 ECWD asks the following:

1. Why on earth does our States Attorney want We The People to pay for the defense of a person that a unanimous Illinois Appelate Court concluded the State violated “Brady” by suppressing the following evidence.  

        A.   A statement by one of the States alleged eyewitnesses, Darrell Harrington, that Jim and Ed comitted the murders

       B.  The States provision of liquor to Harrington, an alcoholic, on two occasions, including the day prior to his testimony before a grand jury.

       C.  The notes of a forensic scientist, Debra Helton, that Harrington had sustained a cut at the crime scene

2. Is it right for the public to pick up the tab for a States Attorney’s wrong doing, assuming he looses his case?

3. Why would our States Attorney push to spend more money that our state doesn’t have after a unanimous conclusion by the Illinois Appelate Court? 


Brady Violatoin information:

A Brady violation consists of three separate parts. The evidence must be favorable to the defendant because it casts doubt on the witness or it gives credibility to the defendant. The state must have suppressed the evidence, even if unintentionally. Finally, because of the failure to disclose, the court was prejudiced against the defendant.

In the 1963 case of Brady v. Maryland, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the 5th and 14th amendments provide for the availability of all evidence in a case. This holds true even if the prosecution or police do not intend to withhold evidence.



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