Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief
Blagojevich attorney Michael Ettinger was caught on a wiretap trying to bribe a cop in order to fix a criminal case in Illinois.
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
John GERVASI, Michael Ettinger, and Charles Soteras, Defendants.
WILLIAM T. HART, District Judge.
The August 1982 Grand Jury returned a seven count indictment against the defendants John Gervasi ("Gervasi"), Michael Ettinger ("Ettinger"), and Charles Soteras ("Soteras"), charging violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 371, 1343 and 1952. Gervasi and Ettinger are attorneys admitted to practice in the State of Illinois. In 1977, Soteras was a defendant in a criminal case in the Circuit Court of Cook County, charged with car theft. Gervasi and Ettinger represented Soteras on the car theft charge.
The federal indictment alleges that the three defendants conspired to bribe a police officer, Daniel Furay ("Furay"), to arrange for the dismissal of the car theft charges against Soteras. The defendants have filed a number of pretrial motions attacking the indictment, and also have moved to suppress key evidence in the case. All of the parties have filed excellent briefs in support of their positions. The Court rules on these motions as follows.
Michael Ettinger was caught so red-handed, all he could do was argue to suppress the evidence of the wiretap transcripts in his criminal case.
Well, it being Chicago, coupled with the fact that Ettinger was represented by a team of the Chicago Mob's favorite lawyers - Samuel V.P. Banks, Edward Genson, Jeffrey B. Steinback - Ettinger did escape going to prison.
However, he did not entirely escape consequences.
After a long, drawn-out-battle, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) had no choice but to suspend Michael D. Ettinger's law license for two years.
ATTORNEY'S REGISTRATION AND PUBLIC DISCIPLINARY RECORD
Public Record of Discipline and Pending Proceedings:
Case(s) below are identified by caption and Commission case number. If there is more than one case, the cases are listed in an order from most recent to oldest. A case may have more than one disposition or more than one component to a disposition, in which situation each disposition and component is also listed separately within that case record, again in an order from most recent to oldest.
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In re Michael David Ettinger, 86CH0175
Disposition: Suspension for a specified period
Effective Date of Disposition: April 21, 1989
End Date of Disposition: April 21, 1991
Definition of Disposition: Suspension for a specified period reflects a determination that the lawyer has engaged in misconduct and that the misconduct warrants an interruption of the lawyer's authority to practice law during the suspension period, which is a fixed period of time identified in the Supreme Court's order. The lawyer is not authorized to practice law during the period of the suspension.
Two years? Ettinger got off easy!
FYI, Blagojevich attorney Sam Adam Sr. represented Ettinger in the ARDC case.
After his suspension, it did not take Ettinger long to reunite with his old pal, Ed Genson.
In 1993 Ettinger joined Genson and his band of cohorts in representing a couple of their fellow Chicago lawyers who, like Ettinger, had a proclivity to participate in the illegal practice of fixing court cases. Ettinger, Genson, and the fellas represented Judge Adam Stillo Sr. and his nephew, attorney Joseph Stillo in a case that featured FBI informant Robert Cooley as the prosecution's star witness.
U.S. v. STILLO
NOS. 94-2678, 94-2679.
Defense attorney Robert Cooley first met Judge Stillo at a party in 1976. Cooley asked the judge whom he should see to fix a criminal case assigned to Judge Stillo. Judge Stillo, knowing that Cooley was a frequent supplier of bribes to other judges and public officials, told Cooley that he would deal with him directly. Not long after the party, Judge Stillo accepted a bribe from Cooley to fix a misdemeanor case. Judge Stillo met with Cooley before trial and agreed to find Cooley's client not guilty. After the trial Cooley met with Judge Stillo in his chambers. Cooley asked the judge whether $100 was an appropriate payment. Judge Stillo responded: "Whatever you think" and accepted the $100 in cash.
Considering Michael Ettinger's past and his unique set of friends, is it really plausible that Ettenger did not know that Invest Financial Corporation, a company that Robert Blagojevich was CEO of, was investing money for Betty Loren Maltese and the town of Cicero?
Not only did Robert Blagojevich dodge a bullet by not going to prison, so did his attorney.
But the media has shamelessly let Robert Blagojevich and his attorney get away with claiming victim status.
Perhaps it's time to correct that notion..... more to come.
Ernie Souchak, Editor-in-Chief, Illinois PayToPlay
Tony Rezko's partner Daniel T Frawley shared this letter he wrote to his attorney with Robert Cooley. In this letter Mr. Frawley claims his ex-attorney George Weaver can confirm that he (Frawley) provided cash for Tony Rezko to payoff Barack Obama ! Patrick Fitzgerald's replacement will need to take a look at this.
Perhaps Congressman Joe Walsh will also take notice ? (Special Counsel?)
As for the Chicago SunTimes and the Chicago Tribune, maybe if we hold our breath ?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dan Frawley <Address withheld>
Date: Mon, Jun 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM
To: robert XXXXX <Robert Cooley's email address withheld>
Here is Weaver's real concern and this is fact not opinion.
Weaver told my sister Kathleen and I this story at his (Weaver's) office
Weaver then repeated the same story to Jeffrey Steinbach a couple of days
later when Weaver called Jeff before Weaver
met with USAO Caroline McNiven and FBI supervisor Pat Murphy.
Weaver then went in and told the same story to the USAO.
Weaver then called me immediately after leaving the USAO office. (Within 5
minutes via pay phone)
Jeff then confirmed to me what Weaver told the USAO after speaking with the
Weaver's Explanation in first person:
I did not tell the USAA about the alleged payment from TR to BO because I
I was afraid that all of the news coverage would bring reporters to my door
and they would camp out there.
I was afraid I would be labeled a racist and Dan and Kathy you know I am not
political at all.
I was especially worried about the affect this would have on my son Michael.
I did this to Protect my family and myself from the publicity.
NOW here is the part that George lied to Jeff and the USAO to.
George told them (USA) & Jeff) that he George had a drink with me at the bar in George's office building. (121 N. La Salle St.)George said he told me then and there what Tony Rezko told George regarding BO and the alleged payoff. George Said that the reason for doing so was to hold this information out incase I did not get a good deal from the USAO then George could use this info as the last turn of the screw on TR and get me the best deal. George said that no one would believe me if I did not recall the story George’s way and that my sister and brother would also be indicted
George then went to Jeff and the USAO that story
I had already met with the USAO with Jeff and told the true story. I
originally went along with Weaver’s story because I was worried about my
brother and sister, but after about 10 days I went with Steinbach and
straightened out the misunderstandings. never knew whom TR gave the cash to
all I knew is Weaver Said the money went in cash in plastic grocery sacks to high elected
official. I always assumed it was Rod.
Jeff told me that the USAO knew Weaver lied to them and that USAO has
nothing but disgust and disdain for Weaver.
Jeff said the USAO could charge Weaver with Conspiracy, lying to the FBI and
obstruction of justice.
Of course we do not care about the criminal aspect but the civil
Government law enforcement people can testify to weaver' lying and
Were we also have weaver is Weaver told his wife Janice and his mother in
law what happened with BO & TR
We can depose Weavers wife and mother in law.
Weaver was so worried abut involving his family this or the threat of it
along with the publicity is Weaver's Achilles heal.