Wednesday, November 29, 2006

George Ryan Free Until Appeal Over

When I read that former Governor George Ryan was granted his wish to stay out of jail pending completion of his appeal, I wondered who made the decision.

They are Frank Easterbrook, Terrence Evans and Diane Sykes.

Not having watched the appellate court, I have no grasp of the roles these folks play.

But, once the decision comes down, it if is not in his favor,

the grant of bail pending appeal will end automatically, without waiting for this court to issue its mandate.
Of interest is that “Volume II” of Ryan’s appeal is being kept secret from the public.

What can that be about?

First posted on McHenry County Blog. Photo from trial evidence.


Pat Hickey 11:54 AM  

Good. I hope that George Ryan stays out of prison.

Judge Pallmeyer's handling of the media circus around the indictment and subsequent trial; the mismanagement of the jury; and the bullying by the prosecutor were bad enough but the Judge's perfunctory dismissal of the bail on appeal was too much.

I am a lifelong Democrat and I happen to like George Ryan - his troubles stem from Petey Fitzgerald's snit over the Lincoln Library. No one has ever challenged 'the culture of corruption' that existed under the direction of Racetrack Jim Edgar. If you care to do the CSI BS with the chunk of metal from the poor Willis Family van let's do the 'trace evidence' back a few more years.

Nah, 90%of this was politics and the Clint Howard look-alike hatched this stuff that has everyone's shorts in a knot.

4Piggybanks2 9:28 PM  

Question for Pat Hickey:

My mind is a bit tired tonight and I want to read your comment as intended -

Please advise... are you saying that Ryan should be out on bail (or totally free) because of 1.) the handling of the media circus, 2.) the mismanagement of the jury, 3.) the bullying by the prosecutor, and 4.) because other people didn't get nailed - OR because you believe Ryan is innocent of all wrong doing?

Pat Hickey 10:07 PM  

Good question 4PB2.

All are pretty much coiled around the same root problem - politics.

My following of the events leading to Ryan's conviction tell me that he was targeted years ago:

Peter Fitzgerald, a largely self-marginalized elected official ( a banker who paid for his own election) was miffed when he was iced out of the Lincoln Library & Museum and launched a search for a Federal prosecutor ( Pat Fitzgerald) who would imolate a political construct called 'the Combine' a loose amalagamation of Illinois politicians Dem & Rep..

A family was horribly damaged when a metal apparatus came loose from a truck driven by am immigrant who had obtained an Illinois driver's license during George Ryan's tenure as Sec. of State. One of the greatest Personal Injury attorneys in America took up their cause and linked the deaths of six children to George Ryan. From there every thing but famine, flood, pestilance and Bud Light was linked to Ryan and an all-star rougue's catalogue was shooed out from the depths of Illinois' political out-houses.

In all of this George Ryan was served up in the media, in the courts, and in the election booth. George Ryan did not kill the Willis childen; political rat-catching is the very nature of political life; Pat Fitzgerald is as much an expensive Craftsman blade in Pete Fitzgerald's toolbox, as George Ryan is the poster boy for political larceny.

George Ryan was targeted - he was got. But that has nothing to do with Justice and sure as hell has nothing to do with truth.

Shoot I'm only one guy - who the hell cares what i think. I'm just a tax-payer and a voter - I have nothing much to say about taxes other than they are necessary for the most part and will pay all of them according to Law, but I sure as hell will vote my own conscience and understanding of political events.

John Kass will dig up the little Willis kids tomorrow in the Tribune; Eric Zorn will get all unctious and progressive; the really stupid people in political life will issue condemnations and jeremiads about 'smells' and 'rot' and such and the game will string out some more; which will keep good lawmakers and public servants busy looking over their shoulders and not doing the jobs that they are talented enough to do on their own.

It is one coiled mess. I tend to go back to the cause of the kinks and from reading it goes back to the Lincoln Library & Museum slight of Petey Fitz.

4Piggybanks2 11:06 AM  

To Pat Hickey -

Thanks for the quick response. Your take is interesting.

I guess I will never believe that Ryan was innocent and unknowing about everything and anything that went on around him. He allowed the legal "game" to be dragged out for many years. It cost the taxpayers a lot of money that could have been better spent and further diminished any remaining trust they have in elected officials to do what's right.

While he wasn't behind the wheel the day the Willis family was forever changed, the investigation and legal delay "denial dance" over many years caused them more pain.

Ryan had it in his power to stop the game at any time and let the punishment chips fall where they may even if it upset his applecart image in front of the world and in front of his family.

He didn't come forward and the headlines revolved around arrogance, denial, and obstruction. He made that choice. He took the gamble. He decided he was untouchable. He was wrong.***

Our legal system demands a specific charge, evidence, a trial, and a verdict. There will be imperfections in the process from start to finish.

Frankly, I'm not sure the public cares at this point which technical wording forms the basis for a guilty verdict. Perhaps it is simply acceptable that he "pays".

***If the court system allows him to remain free pending appeal, will he go to sleep at night being incredibly thankful that he avoided doing time, or will he go to sleep saying "I told you I was untouchable." ?

If this new wrinkle keeps him out of jail for years to come, is it possible another gamble is being waged? If he had come forward in the beginning his time would already be served and he'd be out having turkey dinners at home for years already.

However, now, he's 73. In 2 to 5 years will he still be alive, will he be healthy enough to do time on the taxpayers' dime, and/or will this story have become yesterday's old news reduced to a public eye that no longer cares or remembers - allowing for a two sentence blurb in the back of the papers that someone forgave his sentence?

Pat Hickey 12:00 PM  


Thanks again, my friend, it is nice having a reasoned individual asking a question concerning an opinion rather than some ditto-head shouter calling for my guts-for garters.

I did not and do not care for Fitzgerald's new doctrine on corruption ' giving or not givng the voters the service owed them' Come On - Cut the HS! You want the guy to swing - so say so.

In a great old western, Darling Clementine, an inebriated Doc Holiday pulls his gun in a bar and says ' Now, Let's see . . . who in here don't I particularly care for?' That is Pat Fitzgerald's 'on target' probe of corruption. They get any one to say anything about anyone 'on target' - Flip, Flop or Fly they get convicted.

Some folks think Fitz farts Chanel # 5.; I think otherwise - that's all.

Great talking with a gentleman or lady.

Pat Hickey 12:02 PM  

BTW - 4PB2,

Did I call it last night or what?

Here's Kass' 1st paragraph this A.M.:

ask this as the crooked and convicted George Ryan walks free, out on appeal. His steakhouse pals and mouthpieces twitter. And a cold rain falls on the graves of the six Willis children, burned in a crash with a bribe-paying truck driver.

And Ryan walks?

Didn't look at Eric Zorn - too oily after only oatmeal for me.

4Piggybanks2 4:39 PM  

Thanks for the chuckles and kind words PH.

Pat Hickey 5:51 PM  

De Nada, Muchacho o Muchacha! Always nice to chat with nice people.

Jeff Trigg 10:42 PM  

I disagree with you Pat on this one. George Ryan was corrupt and deserved to be found guilty even if it included political motivations. More than 70 of Ryan's Sec. of State employees worked to kick the Libertarians off the ballot in 1998 including many on the state clock, so political motivations go both ways and he reaped what he sowed.

Pat Hickey 1:49 AM  

Gentlemen should disagree, Jeff, that is what makes this country so great; we tend to forget that sometimes.

A sad and unnecessary trail of events, we will get to what really happened down the road I suppose. always good to hear from you, my man!

plutocrat03 3:33 PM  

I've got to make a bit of correction anout Mr. Hickey's recollection of the Springfield Lincoln Museum boondogle. What Peter Fitzgerald insisted on was that since the project was being primarily built with Federal dollars, that Federal bid letting policies be in effect.

Since we have all gotten a sample of the 'good old boy' processes taking place with hiring, leases of office space et al, can you blame Peter Fitzgerald for wanting a bit more integrity in the bid letting process?

As A taxpayer who feels that the political leadership on both sides of the asile is stampeding toward profitable deals for themselves and their friends, I believe that when you hand is caught in the cookie jar, that a price needs to be paid for the illigal behavior. How else with this malefesance be deterred?

Age does not seem to be a factor in incarcerating other people who have been convicted of crimes. It should not be for a convicted political felon who received a free multimillion dollar defense.

Pat Hickey 5:44 PM  

Thank you Plutocrat - I should have been less vague on the Federal issue, as that is exactly what Peter Fitzgerald does best.

My concern is and has been the very narrow scope of the corruption probe from the beginning. Patrick Fitzgerald is and has ben operating from a design - aimed at the mythical Combine ( has a great Midwest almost agrarian ring to it does it not?). The comments of the lame duck Senator Fitzgerald about the Federal Tsunami that would replace U.S. District Attorney Lasar were most telling as well.

I do apologize for the slight of the Federal aspect of Petey's snit.

plutocrat03 10:19 AM  

Why is the protection of taxypayer's dollars appear to be a 'snit' to you? While in the Illinois legislature Peter Fitzgerald was one of the few who was urging the use of real world accounting tools to describe the financial position of the State. Seems to me that he was a consistant supported of fiscal responsibility regardless of which political party was controlling the purse strings.

As far I can tell Mr. Patrick Fitzgerald's corruption probe(s) shows no partisan bias, There are Republicans as well as Democrats who are implicated in vairous acts of wrongdoing. The conviction rate remains high enough to make me believe that they have a good solid basis to continue to follow their leads up the chain of command. You would not postulate that the court system is biased towared convicting the political elite would you?

I believe that every public servant, whether elected, appointed or simply employed in the public sector needs to operate in a professional atmosphere where what you know and do is more important than who you know. I know this is not how it has been in our state for a long time, but it is time to start now.

As far as whether there is such an animal as the 'combine' exists, as frequently touted by Kass of the Tribune, we will have to see. If there is one, I hope that the members are indicted and convicted as soon as a sufficient amount of evidence is accumulated. It sure seems that the noose around the Daley leadership circle is tightening...... I can name a few other people who are probable nervously celebrating this holiday season, but they already know who they are.

Pat Hickey 11:15 AM  


A snit that broke a camel's back so to speak and a snit equal to Petey's bankroll and ambition.

Targeted probe - you bet it is -and limited to those identified as members of the Illinois Skull & Bones 'The Combine.'

Kass is elevated and traversed by Eddie V ( God help that talented prose merchant if that well ever runs dry); It would be interesting for an energetic and 'hard-hitting' journalist to look at what political plutocrats are staying off the radar in Fitz's probe.

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