Picture of attorney David L. Freidberg,
"I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT HIM..."
"MY SON AND I ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR MR. FREIDBERG AND WHAT HE HAS DONE..."
"DAVID IS A PHENOMENAL LAWYER AND HIS CHARACTER SPEAKS WONDERS..."
"IF YOU NEED AN ATTORNEY IN CHICAGO, I WOULD RECOMMEND HIM IN A HEARTBEAT..."

didier-weemaels-36055-copy-300x251State Senator Tom Cullerton is now facing federal charges that embezzled funds from the Teamsters. Federal authorities are accusing Cullerton of collecting a nearly $190,000 salary plus bonuses for vehicle and cellphone usage. He is also said to have taken $64,000 in health and pension contributions while doing apparently nothing for the Teamsters union. 

Cullerton faced a grand jury indictment in August on one count of conspiracy to embezzle from a labor union, one count of lying about a public health matter, and 39 counts of embezzlement from a labor union. 

Cullerton is one of three elected officials to face federal charges amid a federal probe into corruption in Chicago and Illinois. Cullerton has pleaded not guilty to all charges and expressed eagerness to clear his good name. 

mak-uNx7p3R1MEA-unsplash-copy-200x300Jose Vilchis is facing charges that he sexually abused one of his students at I&M Gymnastics Academy. In addition, the U.S. Department of Justice is suing to revoke his citizenship. Vilchis is a naturalized U.S. citizen, meaning that he came to this country on a green card and then applied to become a full citizen of the United States. Even though the crimes for which Vilchis are charged are heinous, the government does not have the authority to revoke citizenship unless they can prove that a naturalized citizen committed some subversive act, joined an enemy of the state, or committed fraud in order to get citizenship. So even though Vilchis is charged with a sex crime, that alone is not enough to strip a naturalized citizen of citizenship.

Did Vilchis Lie on His Application for Citizenship?

The U.S. Department of Justice is claiming that he did. They say that Vilchis unlawfully concealed three other instances of sexual abuse of minor girls beginning in 1985 when he was a green card holder. However, Vilchis was never arrested or convicted of these crimes. Nonetheless, U.S. immigration asks those who are petitioning to become full citizens if they ever committed a crime for which they were not convicted. Vilchis, apparently answered ‘no.’ 

Kelly is currently facing a 13-count indictment claiming that he sexually assaulted several underage girls. According to The Chicago Tribune, he has brought in veteran criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Steinback, who is well known as a “plea bargain guy.” Plea bargain guys occupy an essential place in criminal defense and ensure their clients are not overcharged given the evidence. Steinback said that he was brought into the case as “another set of eyes” simply to lend his expertise—not (necessarily) to resolve the case before it goes to trial.

Kelly has been held in Metropolitan Correctional Center without bond since July. 

How Plea Bargain Guys Work

ryan-ei-cl8xcbco-unsplash-copy-300x200Vertis Peterson was out on bond for an unrelated weapons charge when police say he repeatedly shot his neighbor’s brother multiple times. Records show that Peterson posted a $200 bond after being charged with felony weapons possession and a misdemeanor count of marijuana possession. 

According to police, Peterson was standing on his porch next to his grandmother when he got into an argument with his neighbor’s brother, a 63-year-old man who had the apparent misfortune of walking down the block at the same time Peterson was on the porch. Peterson pulled a .22 on the man and allegedly fired it six times hitting him in the hip, abdomen, and arm. The 63-year-old survived the assault, but not Peterson is facing an attempted first-degree murder charge. His grandmother refused to allow him entry to her home after he emptied his revolver into the neighbor’s brother. The man was able to identify Peterson in a photo lineup. 

Peterson has two prior convictions for domestic battery.

haley-lawrence-1194174-unsplash-copy-300x200Criminal indictments of major executives at pharmaceutical companies have made headlines across the county as local governments point fingers over the opioid crisis. Now, the federal government is getting involved, as well. At least six companies are the target of a federal probe into whether or not these companies violated the law

Activists have been calling for the sanction of opioid distributors for their role in the opioid crisis. Among the major accusations such companies are facing is the question of whether or not they lied to doctors concerning the addictive properties of their medications. There is some indication that they may have sold their drugs as “less addictive” than older opioid-based medications.

Additionally, opioid companies are accused of oversupplying certain rural communities with enough pills to kill everyone in the county. These pills often made their way into pill mills and were sold on the streets to willing buyers. 

raban-haaijk-118657-copy-225x300Parolee Donald Thurman is accused of raping and then murdering a University of Illinois honor student. Prosecutors say that he followed the woman to her car as she was coming out of class. They also say that she ignored several attempts to initiate conversation and that drew the ire of Thurman who put her in a chokehold until she passed out and then raped her in her own car. Prosecutors used surveillance footage of a nearby parking garage to show that Thurman followed the woman to her car. They traced a palm print from the woman’s car to Thurman and searched his home finding a distinctive white jacket that he wore in the video. 

Thurman’s Confession

Thurman confessed to sexually assaulting the woman and physically attacking her, but he denied technically raping her. The woman was found in her car and pronounced dead at the scene. She died from strangulation.

nicolas-barbier-garreau-256433-copy-300x240LeRoy Martin, Jr., the Cook County judge presiding over the Dante Servin expungement denied an expungement request after he was acquitted of a fatal shooting during an off-duty altercation with a female bystander. 

Judges can consider the strength of the prosecution’s case when deciding whether an expungement is warranted. While there will not be a conviction on his record, the charges will still be available through public records. 

Servin faced a bench trial before Judge Dennis Porter. Police officers often request bench trials in these types of situations to avoid juries who may not be sympathetic to their cause. This is especially true in Chicago where police have earned themselves a less-than-stellar reputation as guardians of the community. 

aidan-bartos-313782-copy-300x200The Chicago City Colleges ex-vice-chancellor has been charged alongside seven others for multiple counts of wire fraud. According to federal authorities, Sharod Gordon awarded contracts to a number of companies that had ties to Gordon’s relatives and other associates. In some cases, police say, no work was ever performed. Gordon’s ex-wife and other associates were charged in the $350,000 scheme to defraud the government. Gordon is accused of awarding the contracts in exchange for kickbacks—a clear violation of basic ethics and corruption statutes

The current chancellor, Juan Salgado, said that new safeguards were to be put in place to avoid future problems. Salgado said the district will hire a procurement director to vet all contracts prior to them being offered. This includes requiring potential vendors to provide an economic disclosure statement and be in business for at least two years.

What was Gordon’s Role?

fabio-bracht-e3oE-l-rtpA-unsplash-copy-300x225In 2018, Alex Cordell Hughs was charged with shooting a victim in a Hobart Walmart. The incident began when Hughs and his girlfriend, Shaqueta Wright, were trying to put their cart back. The victim’s car veered into them prompting some kind of skirmish during which the victim was shot three times, allegedly by Hughs. 

After being charged, Wright pled the Fifth and was given “use immunity” by prosecutors. Afterward, Wright provided the police with some information during a deposition which prosecutors requested be read into the record. Use immunity prevents a defendant’s testimony from being entered against them in a trial. 

Wright’s attorney is also representing Hughs in the case against a false reporting charge.  Naturally, Hugh’s defense attorney (who is also representing Wright) objected to the request on the grounds that the prosecution must give her use immunity while she is on the stand as well, the testimony might be able to open her up to other charges.

rawpixel-1055781-unsplash-1-300x201A 1991 case involving Reynaldo Guevera has been overturned amid allegations of misconduct. Indeed, there are attorneys right now who only handle cases related to disgraced Chicago detectives and their shoddy and criminal police work.

Most recently, Demetrius Johnson will be allowed to move forward with a new trial after an appellate judge granted his request. Yet this time, Cook County prosecutors will move forward with retrying the case as opposed to dropping the charges against Johnson. 

The defendant’s criminal defense attorney express confusion over the decision to press forward with the trial. Not only is it a major cost to the taxpayers, but it also depletes the resources of the prosecutor’s office. Any evidence that was presented by Guevera will be considered tainted. This will require the prosecution to present evidence at trial that is either not linked to Guevera or is linked to Guevera, but the defense will have the opportunity to attack the credibility of that evidence.