Ex-Federal Prosecutor Webb To Review Chicago’s Defense Of Police Officers


Former federal prosecutor Dan Webb will lead an outside review of a Chicago Law Department division after a senior attorney quit in disgrace for concealing evidence in a police-shooting case, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. If Webb finds any evidence of similar malfeasance, the former U.S. Attorney said he will send it directly to Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “My job is to be independent,” Webb said. He will spearhead the review of the standards and practices of the department's Federal Civil Rights Litigation division, which defends police officers in federal civil cases involving use of excessive force. Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered that review after U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang ruled on Jan. 4 that lawyer Jordan Marsh intentionally concealed evidence in a 2015 trial. It culminated in a jury finding that two police officers were justified in killing Darius Pinex during a 2011 traffic stop.

Corporation Counsel Steve Patton said he was “extremely disappointed” after reading Chang's harsh ruling in the Pinex case that threw out the verdict, ordered a new trial and demanded that the city pay attorneys' fees. “I hold this department to the highest professional ethics standards,” Patton said. “Any deviation from those standards is one too many.” Marsh was accused of concealing a recording that conflicted with officers' testimony until midway through the trial, even though that recording became available before the trial began. Chang accused the Law Department of poorly training and overseeing city attorneys and creating an environment that hampered production of records essential to prosecuting cases of police misconduct. The department is reviewing nearly 40 open cases handled by Marsh.

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