Latest question in case against former prosecutor is just what the judge can do

Latest question in case against former prosecutor is just what the judge can do

Former LaSalle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne’s defense is asking for a speedy trial; the special prosecutor in the case thinks everything should be on hold. Prosecutor Greg McClintock argued before Judge Clark Erickson Friday, appeals that have been filed in the case mean Erickson can’t do anything substantive with it until all the higher courts say he can.

Such notice comes in the form of a mandate which may tell the judge what he or she must do to correct errors the higher court found. If the higher court finds no errors, the mandate tells the judge to carry on as is. When a higher court issues its opinion, it may take up to 35 more days to issue the associated mandate.

Last month, an appellate court ruled it has no jurisdiction to reinstate current State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly as the prosecutor. She said she would file an appeal. However, the Illinois Supreme Court said it wouldn’t put the lower court proceedings on hold while she does. Making things confusing is how Donnelly’s appeal was allowed under civil court rules, even though the charge that Towne misused county funds is in criminal court.

Erickson removed Donnelly as the case’s prosecutor after finding she may have an undue bias against Towne. He plans to hear more arguments and rule next Friday on whether he must put the case on hold.