MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill., March 1 (UPI) -- Illinois special prosecutors have added misconduct counts stemming from alleged sweetheart plea deals to corruption charges against a county state's attorney.
The grand jury indictments charge McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi was instrumental in an August plea bargain that reduced a five-year sentence to four for the nephew of Bianchi's chief investigator, Ronald Salgado, who allegedly dealt drugs near a Crystal Lake high school, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald and the Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.
Bianchi also is accused of tampering with a disorderly conduct case against someone he knew and had contributed to Bianchi's campaign. The indictment claims Bianchi had an assistant state's attorney offer a written apology from the defendant in exchange for dropping the charges. The case was dismissed in August.
Bianchi further is accused of having an assistant state's attorney delay theft litigation last July against Bianchi's nephew in order to wait for the start of a first-offender program in the fall.
If convicted on any of the charges, he faces prison sentences of two to five years with the possibility of probation.
Bianchi already faces misconduct and corruption charges alleging he made county employees work on the county's time for his re-election campaign.
The trial of Bianchi and Joyce Synek, his personal secretary, on those charges is scheduled for March 21.
"The case that's pending against Lou is extraordinarily weak. It's a pile of crap. They're trying to dirty him up. It shows desperation on their part," Bianchi's defense attorney, Terry Ekl, said.