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May 20, 2024

Federal Suit Filed Alleging Improprieties Between County and Appellate Prosecutors –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On October 14, 2021

Coles Co., IL. (ECWd) –

Last Friday, a 9-Count Complaint was filed in the Central District of Illinois naming the Coles County State’s Attorney’s Office (“CCSAO”), the Coles County Board, and the Illinois State’s Attorney’s Appellate Prosecutor’s Office (“ILSAAP”)as defendants.

Plaintiffs are Mervin Wolfe, Taylor Schoeneman, and Anthony Golding.

The underlying issues are allegations that after ILSAAP’s Prosecutor, Brian Towne, was appointed as prosecutor in certain criminal cases due to the CCSAO being conflicted, both offices worked with each other in the prosecution:

  • The sharing of office space, computers and networking equipment, CCSAO personnel, and CCSAO work product with the ILSAAP’s prosecutor is what is in question. This includes “drafting and filing of pleadings that ILSAAP adopts and acts upon, and that the “Shared” staff of the CCSAO continues to participate in this matter” according to the complaint.
  • The CCSAO claims work-product privilege (on matters that it cannot be having a work-product in) and investigative privilege with CCSAO’s involvement in the conflicted cases appointed to ILSAAP Attorneys Brian Towne and Jennifer Mudge.

From among the allegations:

  • Calls for the repeal of the Resolution adopted by the Coles County Board and ILSMP with the signature of the Executive Director of ILSAAP which purports to restrict Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under the Due Process Clause right to a disinterested prosecutor and which Plaintiffs challenge as unconstitutional, void for vagueness, and unconstitutional for over-breadth.
  • Plaintiffs challenge the resolution between ILSAAP and CCSAO as unconstitutional on its face as being overly broad and in conflict with the 5th Amendment, 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment of the US Constitution and 5th and 5th Amendment of the Illinois Constitution.

Read the Complaint (here) or below.

Coles Federal Suit


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