Burge-related hearing grows contentious as attorneys seek to oust special prosecutor

An try and kick longtime prosecutors off instances involving disgraced ex-Chicago police Cmdr. Jon Burge’s “midnight crew” grew contentious Friday as alleged victims’ attorneys accused the prosecutors of overstepping their authority on the taxpayer’s dime.

The prosecutors cried foul, noting their authority had been challenged only after things didn’t go the attorneys’ means.

“Once I was dismissing instances, I was an incredible guy,” stated Robert Milan, who was appointed special prosecutor for Burge-associated matters in 2017. “I take a look at each case individually, and (when) I don’t determine the case their method … now I have a conflict? Now I don’t have the authority?”

Legal professionals for Gerald Reed had raised the difficulty after Milan determined to proceed with a new trial despite Reed’s conviction for a double murder being thrown out in December amid allegations that detectives underneath Burge tortured him into confessing.

At a hearing Friday on the Leighton Legal Courtroom Building, Reed’s attorneys argued to LeRoy Martin Jr., the Felony Division’s presiding decide, that Milan has a battle of interest and that State’s Lawyer Kim Foxx’s office should as an alternative prosecute the case.

The state’s lawyer’s workplace hasn’t dealt with Burge instances since a decide dominated greater than 15 years ago that then-State’s Lawyer Richard Devine had a conflict of curiosity.

Milan, who rose to Devine’s first assistant earlier than going into personal follow, was the newest lawyer appointed special prosecutor amid the continuing Burge scandal. He and his associates are handling some 20 instances that involve Burge or detectives beneath his command.

In a courtroom filing this week, Reed’s attorneys accused the particular prosecutors of dragging out hearings and pursuing instances merely to line their pockets. The county has paid the special prosecutors tens of millions of dollars to deal with Burge instances, they stated.

“Do voters and taxpayers distrust the (Office of the Special Prosecutor), since for 17 years a non-government entity has been in place that may only survive if there’s steady Burge litigation?” the filing stated.

In courtroom Friday, Milan referred to as the request to disqualify him a disingenuous effort to select a more favorable prosecutor.

“(They) never complained about it till I lately made the choice on the Reed case,” Milan stated. “This can be a thinly veiled try and forum-shop prosecutors.”

Martin stated he would challenge a ruling next month.

In courtroom paperwork, Reed’s attorneys asked Martin to refer “all Burge-related matters” back to Foxx, however in courtroom Friday, they clarified that their request applied solely to Reed’s case and two other accusers named in the filing.

Reed’s attorneys additionally argued the particular prosecutors’ authority extends only to handling publish-conviction claims introduced by Burge accusers, not any subsequent retrials which will outcome after these convictions have been thrown out.

If Martin…

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