LaSalle Co. (ECWd) -
As problems continue to percolate for Brian Towne, LaSalle County State's Attorney, once again the paper trail paints a troubling picture. Perjury is a term commonly bantered but rarely acted on in our judicial system, however, Towne has thrown the issue of perjury into his talking points as a means of deflecting the truth about his actions.
Towne filed perjury charges against a local attorney, Julie Ajster, who is speaking out regarding Brian Towne’s actions. Actions which include the most recent justifiable complaint to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Towne mistakenly believes that telling everyone he has charged Ajster with perjury means she can't be believed. Towne has failed to address any allegation of wrongdoing directed toward him. Instead, Towne’s only response to any allegation is that he charged Ajster with perjury, even though there has been no trial, and his mentioning Ajster’s pending perjury case may be in violation of professional rules 3.6 and 3.8 for attorneys which prohibit an attorney from extra-judicial statements and specifically prohibits a prosecutor from discussing pending prosecution except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose.
The big question now is, Has Brian Town Committed Perjury?
The evidence and documents appear to point to a very problematic situation for Towne. A situation where he has signed and filed sworn court pleadings stating one thing, while the evidence disproves his pleadings and his statements to the courts. The appearance of perjury is so clear we must ask, who will charge Towne? How ironic is that?
In an attempt to keep this simple and easy to follow, forfeited funds are distributed to different agencies and offices pursuant to Illinois statute. The State’s Attorney of a County receives 12.5% (Towne) of any forfeiture and the arresting agency (SAFE) receives the lion’s share of any forfeiture, 65%. Towne’s false statements and pleadings involve his illegal police force, SAFE, and the forfeitures resulting from SAFE. The first false statements by Towne occurred in the case of John Huls.
- November 11, 2011, LaSalle County SAFE unit seizes funds and property from John Huls and issues a warning ticket which states that the arresting agency is SAFE. (Arresting agency will receive 65%!)
- November 11, 2011, Spring Valley Police Department K9 report states "assists" the SAFE unit. (They DO NOT get 65% as they only assisted)
- December 12, 2011, Towne notifies Hull of forfeiture proceedings confirming, SAFE was the seizing agency. (Again, his Office will get 65%)
- December 20, 2011, Towne signs and sends Notice/Inventory of Seized Property to the Illinois State Police regarding Huls' seizure. This Notice states SAFE is the arresting agency (100%) thus they will receive 65% of Huls seizure/forfeiture. (See Towne signed ISP report listing S.A.F.E percentage of participation was 100%)
- May 3, 2012, Huls files a Motion to Remove LaSalle County State's Attorney and to Appoint a Special Prosecutor arguing that Towne/SAFE receiving 65% of seizure/forfeiture creates a conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety.
- May 11, 2012, Towne files a Response to Huls’ Motion. Response to Motion to Remove LaSalle County States Attorney and to appoint Special Prosecutor.
Court records, sworn to by Towne and signed by Towne reflect him stating:
“Spring Valley Police Department is the lone ‘arresting agency’ for purposes of the statute and receives the 65% share of property or cash forfeited.”
"In every S.A.F.E. case involving the seizure of property or cash, LaSalle County receives only 12.5% as provided by statute."
So in filed court records signed by Towne he claims EVERY SAFE case involving seizure of property or cash, LaSalle County receives only 12.5% as provided by Statute?
That is not true and the records prove that. A May 1, 2012 Funds Distribution document reflects that Towne's office received 12.5% as well as an additional 65% making a total of 77.5% received by LaSalle County. How can Towne claim in court pleadings that they receive "only" 12.5% when in fact the records prove they received 77.5% (12.5% for State’s Attorney and 65% for arresting agency)? (Read the record for yourself)
- June 22, 2012, the first forfeiture check is issued by the Illinois State Police Forfeited Funds payable to “Felony Enforcement Unit (SAFE)” and is mailed to Towne at the LaSalle County State’s Attorney’s Office. The check is for $41,535.00 for several SAFE seizures/forfeitures payable at 65%.
That check and distribution breakdown proves Towne's statement in the court pleading as untrue. This distribution reflects 65% being provided to SAFE on multiple cases.
- July 19, 2012, a hearing is held on Huls’ Motion to Remove LaSalle County States Attorney and to Appoint a Special Prosecutor.
According to the transcript of that July 19, 2012 hearing, Brian Towne makes the following False Statements to the Court:
Says forfeited funds are to be used for drug enforcement and that is what they are being used for.
Not true. Funds have been used for numerous local programs that have nothing to do with drug enforcement. (See previous article on how the money was spent on trips to Las Vegas)
Says Spring Valley Police Department gets the money.
Really? The forfeiture for John Huls is still pending but all of the documents we have indicate and state, SAFE is the arresting agency to receive 65%. The fact that Towne is turning over the money to Spring Valley raises serious questions as there is no statutory authority we can find that permits him to transfer County funds to a Municipal Police Department. In fact, the law clearly states the State Police is the agency that distributes those funds.
Funds that are distributed by law, to the county, as outlined in Illinois State Police distribution documents, can NOT be given away to another public body without statutory authority.
And never mind the County Statute outlines the County Treasurer "shall receive and safely keep the revenues and other public moneys of the county." It is not a question that the seized funds are county property, yet Town is transferring those funds to the Spring Valley Police Department without statutory authority. We challenge Towne to provide statutory authority for him to transfer County owned funds to a Municipal Police Department in another county.
In a signed affidavit the Spring Valley Police Chief states:
"The monies and the sale proceeds of all other property forfeited stays with the Spring Valley Police Department and does not return to LaSalle County State's Attorney's Office."
Does not return to LaSalle County States Attorney's Office? The question now is what State Statute allowed Brian Towne to recieve seized funds from the State Police in the form of a check and then give that check to another public body? Although the Chief of Spring Valley PD takes the position the money does not return to Lasalle County, that statement is an admission that it came from LaSalle County State's Attorney's Office to begin with. That means this very affidavit is yet another piece of evidence that Brian Towne was not honest to the courts.
It also creates yet another possible Official Misconduct charge for Towne as there does not appear to be any statutory authority for him to give county funds to a municipal police department, let alone one in a different county.
Says monies help reduce his budget and help taxpayers.
Not true. Every check received by Towne and SAFE was accompanied by a register stating the cases that make up that forfeiture check. This register also states that the funds cannot be used to supplant his budget and that the funds must be used for drug enforcement.
Is this not perjury?
"The Spring Valley Police Department provides an experienced narcotics investigator to S.A.F.E. Spring Valley Police Department is the lone "arresting agency" for purposes of the statute and receives the 65% share of property or cash.
Once again, his statement can be disproven by simply looking at the documents that prove Spring Valley Police Department is NOT the lone "arresting agency" as he claims. In fact, the record proves Spring Valley Police Department only assisted and it was, in fact, S.A.F.E that was the arresting agency. (See Towne signed ISP report listing S.A.F.E percentage of participation was 100%)
Is this not perjury?
"LaSalle County receives the same percentage from cash or property seizures by SA.F.E. as it does for any similar seizure by every other law enforcement agency."
To avoid confusion, all these funds belong to the County. It appears Towne is playing a word game trying to separate LaSalle County from LaSalle County State's Attorney’s office and S.A.F.E. ALL funds going to any of those three is in fact money going to LaSalle County.
Regardless of the word games, LaSalle County DOES NOT receive the same percentage from cash or property seized. Simply looking at the ISP report signed by Towne disproves his statement. (See Towne Signed distribution report here)
Is that not perjury?
From the pleadings filed by Towne he cites the defense's words as hearsay and factually incorrect.
"Now, when the state's attorney's drug officers seize money, the 65 percent will go to the state's attorney." Prosecutors Police: Drug money fuels State's Attorney's new anti-drug force, The Times, December 30, 2011 . "This hearsay statement is factually incorrect."
Here is why lawyers get paid so much. He is correct by claiming the statement is incorrect because the State's Attorney does not get 65%, he gets 77.5%. What he did here was play lawyer word games and misrepresented the truth. The fact of the matter is, his own signed records prove his office is getting 77.5%.
- States Attorney - 12.5%
- Seizing Agency -LaSalle County SA (State's Attorney) 65%
- Total to LaSalle County State's Attorney Office - 77.5%
The paper trail is one of his own making, which points to him telling the court one thing while the actual money trail tells a much different story. Is this possibly the key behind a request for a Special Prosecutor to bring charges against Brian Towne?
We will update accordingly as this matter continues through the courts.
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