Crooked City

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An Open Letter to PLO Attorney Joey Mogul...

Dear Ms. Mogul,

I am in receipt of your letter, reprinted in part, sent yesterday to my attorney, Tom Osran. In it, you accuse him of “bullying” and being “offensively aggressive” toward you when he called you to discuss the relevance of certain seemingly superfluous emails you were requesting.  

First, let me encourage you to reconsider your use of the term bullying. The request by my attorney was a simple matter in such motions, requested, he assures me, in a routine, matter of fact manner. How you could construe this as bullying or offensively aggressive is hard to imagine. 

Maybe I can help. Let me see if I can point out the difference between civilized communications and bullying by providing you with a few examples. 

When private investigator Paul Ciolino, working on behalf of Northwestern University, went to the residence of Alstory Simon in 1999, armed, and threatened with violence and trumped up criminal charges in order to get Simon to confess to a double murder he did not commit, that was bullying. 

When Ciolino and former Professor David Protess made deals with other witnesses to provide false testimony to free sociopathic killer Anthony Porter, that was bullying. 

When Protess and Ciolino manipulated naive Northwestern students to take part in their plan to frame Alstory Simon, that was bullying. 

When Ciolino and student Thomas McCann badgered William Taylor into changing his eyewitness testimony in the Porter case, that was bullying. 

When a central witness in the Madison Hobley case described how Ciolino and DePaul University Professor Andrea Lyon came to his house and attempted to bribe him into changing his testimony, that, if true, would be bullying. 

When Ciolino, Protess, and the students publicly claimed, without any evidence, that the detectives in the Porter case, Charles Salvatore and Dennis Gray, framed Porter for the murders, that would be a kind of bullying. 

When the two detectives fought to have the case go to a civil trial and found an attorney, Walter Jones, willing to look at the evidence, and that attorney refused to settle and argued in court that Porter was the offender in the murders and then told stupified journalists after the verdict that he thought Porter was the offender, and Eric Zorn, who had not even bothered to hear the evidence in the case, lashed out at Jones in a column the following day for daring to suggest Porter was guilty, that would be bullying. 

When law firms have a cabal of “journalists” like John Conroy, Mike Miner, Steve Mills, Eric Zorn, Fran Spielman and Neil Steinberge willing to obfuscate the facts or ignore them altogether in an attempt to push a wrongful conviction narrative and vilify the police and prosecutors, well, that would be a kind of journalistic bullying. 

When a Governor renowned for his corruption suddenly pardons four inmates on death row, even one who set a fire that killed seven people, including his own wife and child, without any new evidence of their innocence, disregarding the hardship and sorrow family members of the victims must endure, that too is a kind of bullying.

When another governor commutes the sentence of a man convicted on four counts of attempted murder in the waning moments of the governor’s administration, without even explaining his decision, well that would be a kind of bullying the entire criminal justice system that spent nine years working to convict the offender. 

When a group of terrorists make bombs and set them off in public places, murdering innocent people, that is a form of bullying. 

And when a writer—a writer whose work played a pivotal role in reversing the most clear wrongful conviction case in the state’s history—is the target of a malevolent attack upon his privacy and free speech in order to vilify him and therefore silence him, well, that would be a form of bullying as well. 

But an attorney calling you to clarify the terms of a court motion, that is not bullying. That is just a mundane legal matter. 

In fact, it is your nasty, calculated letter making such absurd allegations against my lawyer that is the real bullying. 

Are you getting the picture? 

I know it is a difficult thing to sit down and reason with people who disagree with you or people you hate. Doing so is one of the principles of police work when one is a police officer in a free society. Some cops do it better than others. But I take the principle of such civility as a kind of higher calling and my successes in doing so with a sense of pride and honor. 

But then, as both a cop and a writer, I believe in democracy, and therefore conceive of the courts and legal system guided by the ideals of justice and truth seeking, not merely as instruments of destruction and vengeance.  

Very Truly Yours,

Martin Preib

Chicago Police Officer