Prosecutors

Chicago Provides Yet Another Reminder Police and City Lawyers Are Accomplices in Avoiding Accountability

Mayor Rahm Emanuel doesn't see a problem.

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Darius Pinex, on the left.

Surely what Chicago needs right now is yet another scandal related to a police killing of a citizen. This one has resulted in a Chicago city lawyer, Jordan Marsh, resigning from his job yesterday after a judge ruled that he had intentionally concealed evidence to protect police against a civil suit. That civil suit was over two police officers who killed Darius Pinex during a traffic stop in 2011. From CBS:

The officers, Raoul Mosqueda and Gildardo Sierra, said they opened fire as Pinex refused orders and put his car in reverse. The officers had said they stopped Pinex because his car matched a description they heard on their police radio of a car suspected of involvement in an earlier shooting. But records emerged after the trial began that officers weren't listening to the channel broadcasting the radio traffic about the suspect's car. The judge said a city lawyer "intentionally concealed" that evidence.

The judge on Monday tossed a jury's finding in April that the police shooting was justified, ordered a new trial and instructed the city to pay attorney's fees to the plaintiffs.

"Attorneys who might be tempted to bury late-surfacing information need to know that, if discovered, any verdict they win will be forfeited and their clients will pay the price," the judge wrote. He said Jordan Marsh, a senior corporation counsel, also later lied about when he was aware of the evidence.

The judge also accused the law department, which defends city employees accused of wrongdoing, of shoddy record-keeping, saying it contributed to the problem in the Pinex case.

All reporting is taking note of this going on at the same time as the city is attempting to prosecute Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke for murder for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald. And it also comes not long after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer in Cleveland, Ohio, who had killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice just seconds after encountering him in a park. It was abundantly clear after the grand jury's decision that the prosecutor had recommended against an indictment, something not likely to happen if any of us were to abruptly shoot somebody to death in a moment of panic.

Remarkably, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is now under fire for the city attempting to block the release of the McDonald video, and is resisting calls for him to resign, is saying today that regardless of this whole incident, the federal government should focus its probe on just the police and leave Chicago's lawyers out of it. From the Chicago Tribune:

Emanuel said he trusts city Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton to make sure the Law Department is following the proper procedures, even as U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang faulted lax training and oversight at Patton's department for hampering the production of Police Department records when officers are accused of misconduct.

When the mayor was asked about adding the Law Department's handling of lethal force cases to the federal probe, he laughed and did not directly answer the question. Pressed again, Emanuel said that step is not needed to give Chicagoans confidence necessary changes are being made.

"No. I think that (federal investigators) are working where they are," Emanuel said a day after Chang imposed sanctions against the city and overturned a jury verdict in a lawsuit brought by the family of a man fatally shot by police. "Steve (Patton) has my support to make sure that this doesn't happen again."

Monday's ruling marked the second time in less than a year the judge sanctioned the Law Department for withholding records in a police misconduct lawsuit and ordered a new trial. Emanuel, however, said he does not believe the Law Department is part of a culture of cover-ups on police shootings.

No, no, the corruption's all over there, not over here! What are you folks, crazy? 

* (Update: I realized immediately after publishing that calling the city's lawyer a "prosecutor" in the headline was a mistake and fixed it)

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  1. Anyone who thinks corruption exists at lower levels of authority, but NOT at the higher ones, doesn’t understand how corruption works.

    1. Anyone who thinks a government paycheck turns gullible, naive, corrupt subhumans into noble civil servants is deluded and probably aspires to be one of the elite control freaks.

    2. It’s about winning at all costs, not justice, winning.

  2. Uh, they’re all on the same parasitic team at the end of the day. It makes way more sense for them to work together than it would to be antagonistic. It’s simple incentives.

    None of this is surprising. This should not be a revelation to anyone who pays any attention.

  3. This one has resulted in a Chicago city lawyer, Jordan Marsh, resigning from his job

    Well, I think he’s learned his lesson.

    1. I’m sure he’s got another, higher paying one waiting in the wings.

      1. Why didn’t the judge recommend action by the disciplinary committee of the bar?

  4. The judge on Monday tossed a jury’s finding in April that the police shooting was justified, ordered a new trial and instructed the city to pay attorney’s fees to the plaintiffs.

    “Attorneys who might be tempted to bury late-surfacing information need to know that, if discovered, any verdict they win will be forfeited and their clients will pay the price,” the judge wrote. He said Jordan Marsh, a senior corporation counsel, also later lied about when he was aware of the evidence.

    Perhaps…and I know this is just cray-cray…but perhaps if the attorney himself had to “pay the price”?

    1. That’s crazy talk! Why, if public servants were personally liable for their actions, it’d be… it’d be ANARCHY!

    2. Who writes the rules, Nicole? You really think they’re going to write ones where they can get bitten?

      1. But that’s clearly one he can’t pay.

      2. It would be if the person were capable of feeling shame. I’m not sure that’s the case here.

    3. perhaps if the attorney himself had to “pay the price”

      Suspended from the bar at a minimum, and perhaps disbarred entirely. Sovereign and prosecutorial immunity do not apply to sanctions for breach of legal ethics.

      1. I swear, when I retire my hobby is going to be going after the licenses of prosecutors and judges. As an attorney, I actually have an affirmative duty to file complaints with the bar when I see a fellow attorney violating the ethics rules.

        ABA Model Rule 8.3 provides:

        (a) A lawyer who knows that another lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

        1. I sincerely hope you do this.

        2. I’d subscribe to your pay. I’d sign up for $50 a month for someone who actually did something about those crooks.

  5. resisting calls for him to resign

    I know it won’t solve Chicago’s out-of-control police problem but tossing Rahm’s ass out would feel *so* good. It would basically end his career and you know that’s all he cares about.

    1. Hey, if you gotta have a scapegoat, might as well pick the worst, nastiest goat you can find.

    2. The problem I see with this is the Egyptian Arab spring one. He’ll be replaced by another pro union machine candidate. It will all get billed as hope and change while the existing policies actually get reenforced.

      1. The other options are so much worse than Rahm, it’s not even funny.

        1. If Karen Lewis is alive she is going to lopsidedly saunter right into the mayor’s office.

          1. It’s Chicago. Since when is being alive a necessary prerequisite?

            1. It’s not a necessary prerequisite to vote, but it’s probably a prerequisite to serve, even in Chicago.

        2. The other options are so much worse than Rahm, it’s not even funny.

          Yikes. Carry on, then.

          1. Yeah, his opponent (who he barely beat) is up to his ears in gang ties, and its an open secret that the gangs are part of the Chicago Machine voter turnout op.

            No matter how bad things look, they can always get worse.

            1. I always thought that he looks like he should have done a cameo on The Sopranos.

      2. Welcome to politics and government, Paul.

  6. It would be so delicious to see mayor ‘Neverletacrisisgotowaste’ go down in flames over this. Hey Rahm, live by the sword motherfucker.

  7. Rahm must have some serious dirt on Obama and Company, as for the life of me I don’t understand how the guy hasn’t been tarred and feathered over the blocking of the release of the McDonald video. This is most obvious obstruction of justice case I’ve ever seen and yet here he is.

    Johnathan:Your wife married a corrupt police officer?What was it all about?
    Jack:That whole fuckin’ department was corrupt.
    Johnathan:There’s good and bad everywhere, don’t you think?
    Jack:I’d say there’s bad everywhere. Good I don’t know about.

    1. Photographic proof that Michelle has a penis.

  8. Knowing the cities attorneys lied and with held information and broke all kinds of laws makes all the cases suspect. All the city attorneys cases should be review and retried. City attorneys all over this country are suspect and in league with police unions and the FOP. What do we do when the police and attorneys are the criminals? We don’t have to worry about terrorism, the gratis threat to americans are violent extremist police.

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