Monday, May 23, 2016

Mary McClellan - a Court decides against her today

I generally am quite cautious about opening attachments to emails from persons I don't know. Today is one of those days. But a quick search on identified the sender to me, and I took a chance and opened the attachment. And what to my wondering eyes should appear?

Today's court order by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in the matter of Alberto Martinez, et al. v. City of Chicago, et al. and Mary E. McClellan.

Today's decision won't be a good dinner table topic at the McClellan household.

Who is Mary McClellan?

Currently she is the McHenry County Clerk; i.e., the elected Clerk of McHenry County (and definitely not to be confused with the Clerk of McHenry County Circuit Court, who is Katherine M. Keefe).

Prior to McClellan's election, following the long tenure of Kathy Schultz, McClellan was an assistant state's attorney in Cook County. While there, and before her election to County Clerk, she earned the dubious distinction of not being able to find records of a case sought by a plaintiff's attorney for clients who had been wrongfully arrested and later found not guilty.

McClellan said she had searched the SAO's office for the records for the records and they no longer existed. She was certain they no longer existed. And she so told the judge.

But a year later the plaintiffs' attorneys got access to the storage, and they quickly found the files among the 181 boxes of documents.

McClellan was sanctioned, and then she tried to get her name cleared, since the SAO had paid the full monetary assessment and had covered her share. So, no monetary harm; therefore, no justification for the sanction.

Except the three-judge Court didn't see it her way and today issued, in my opinion, a harsh affirmation of the original ruling. The Order is fascinating reading. If I can figure out how to copy and publish it for your own reading enjoyment, I shall. After all, it's a public record.

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