A workers’ compensation arbitrator assigned to hear the case of an Illinois state trooper involved in a high-speed crash that killed two teenage sisters sought to keep a public hearing on the case secret.
Arbitrator Jennifer Teague wanted to keep the public hearing on his claim secret, according to e-mails obtained by the Belleville News-Democrat through the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
“We are going to do it on the sly with no press,” Teague wrote in an e-mail to her court reporter.
Mitchell’s hearing, originally was scheduled for Dec. 20 in Belleville, was pushed up to Dec. 17 and relocated to a Collinsville office without public notification. A decision on compensation has yet to be made.
“There is nothing I can do to keep them (reporters) out of a public hearing, but will be more than willing to do a special setting and an unknown place and time!” Teague wrote to Mitchell’s lawyer, Kerry O’Sullivan, on Oct. 18.
O’Sullivan, in a November reply to Teague with a copy to assistant attorney general Bill Schneider, suggested an “off-docket trial of this matter to prevent or reduce media attention.”
Well, isn't that just wonderful?
According to Spillane, Schneider, who no longer works for the attorney general, did not notify his superiors of any effort to keep the hearing private.
Really? Or is this a "You can't prove he did" thing?*
Although neither Schneider nor O’Sullivan could be reached for comment, Geri Dreiling, a spokesman for O’Sullivan’s St. Louis law firm, Brown & Crouppen, said a lawyer is obligated to obtain a fair hearing for his client.
Uh, getting a fair hearing is not supposed to include subverting the law, you slimy bastard.
Spillane told the News-Democrat the attorney general’s office took the matter to its ethics officer and will decide whether to report the incident to the executive inspector general and the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
Maybe it's just that I don't understand the legal crap, but is there actually any legitimate reason this should not have read "...reported the incident to the ..." instead of 'will decide'?