States Attorney Alvarez Shields Dirty Cops From Prosecution, Says Suit
CHICAGO – A civil rights attorney here filed suit against the Chicago Police Department today for stonewalling his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests aimed at gathering more evidence about lying while under oath by two police officers, Allyson Bogdalek and Dominick Catinella.
“The public has a right to know when prosecutors try to convict citizens with the testimony of dishonest police officers and whether Anita Alvarez refused to prosecute a police officer who confessed to a crime for political gain,” said Jared Kosoglad, the plaintiff in the suit, 2015-CH-04993. The CPD has refused to answer Kosoglad’s FOIA requests.
According to the suit, “On July 24, 2012, Officer Allyson Bogdalek, Star # 18598, confessed to Cook County State’s Attorneys that she committed perjury, destroyed evidence, and conspired with her partner, Officer Dominick Catinella, Star # 12936, in the criminal case of State of Illinois v. Ranceallen Hankerson, Case No, 10-CR-11882.”
Despite having a confession to perjury, a Class 3 Felony punishable by two to five years in prison, the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ office declined to prosecute Bogdalek. Catinella, who alleged intentionally destroyed evidence, a Class 4 Felony punishable by up to eight years in prison, also was not prosecuted. The CPD took no disciplinary actions against either officer.
“Prosecutors from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office sought to prosecute in connection with this incident, but Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez personally intervened and prevented any charges from moving forward,” said today’s suit.
Allyson Bogdalek has been a defendant in three federal civil rights cases: Martinez et al. v. City of Chicago, et al., 09-cv-5938 (judgment entered in May 2014 against Chicago for $650,000); Aldridge v. Haggerty, et al., 09-cv-07975 (trial in favor of defendants February 2011); and Martinez v. City of Chicago, et al., 14-cv-369 (case set for trial before Judge Dow in January 2015). Kosoglad has represented the Martinez family for seven years in both of their suits..
“That Alvarez’s office may be using the testimony of officers known to perjure themselves and destroy evidence without telling criminal defendants would be a widespread Due Process violation,” said Kosoglad.
“There is an ongoing and widespread pattern of FOIA violations by the CPD, an agency that is itself charged with enforcing laws,” said Kosoglad’s attorney, Matt Topic of Loevy & Loevy Attorneys at Law. “It shouldn’t have to take lawsuits like this to get the city to respond to FOIA requests and turn over public records.”
Alvarez has been widely criticized for rarely prosecuting corrupt officers and politically connected individuals, such as Richard Daley’s nephew Richard Vanecko, while pursuing politically motivated prosecutions, such as against “The NATO 3” youths caught up in a CPD “terrorism” investigation and prosecution widely derided as entrapment. Last year a large group of prominent former judges and prosecutors wrote an open letter to Alvarez condemning her for the perjury prosecution of Willie Johnson, a double-murder witness who was himself shot nine times, for later recanting his testimony.
Kosoglad owns and manages Jared S. Kosoglad, P.C., a boutique civil rights law firm that represents victims encountering misconduct in the criminal justice system, police brutality, false arrests, and malicious prosecutions. He has successfully represented numerous victims of police misconduct in Chicago over the last ten years.
Loevy & Loevy is the largest civil rights law firm in the Midwest and has won more multi-million dollar jury verdicts than any other civil rights law firm in the entire country over the past decade and frequently represents the public in FOIA litigation.