Joliet attorney Chuck Bretz wants a special prosecutor appointed to his drunk driving case, court records show.
Bretz’s associate Neil Patel filed the motion for a special prosecutor Wednesday. Patel’s motion claimed two potential witnesses were in the car with Bretz when he was arrested by Lockport police about 11:15 p.m. Valentine's Day.
Those witnesses are former Will County State’s Attorney employee Gillyan Corcoran and Anthony Marzano, chief administrator of the Will County 911 Emergency Telephone System, his motion said.
Patel argued Bretz operates “one of the largest criminal defense practices in all of Will County” and has regular contact with Will County assistant state’s attorneys when he is defending his clients.
“The prosecutor will feel bias, sympathy or prejudice, either for or against the defendant,” Patel said.
Patel argued further that if an assistant state’s attorney prosecuted the case, he or she “may feel additional pressure to secure a conviction against a prominent defense attorney out of a need for retribution or to impose ridicule.”
“This compromises the ability to fairly prosecute. The ethical cannons require prosecutors to seek justice, not results,” Patel’s motion said.
Will County State's Attorney spokeswoman Carole Cheney said her office intends to file its own motion for a special prosecutor but she did not explain why.
"As for any response to the substance of what is argued in the motion filed by Chuck Bretz, that would be addressed in court as it is a pending matter," Cheney said.
Attorney Stephen White, a former Will County chief judge and assistant state's attorney, said it's not unusual for a defendant to file a motion for a special prosecutor.
White said in this case, Bretz and Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow had a prior legal relationship.
Bretz was first assistant state's attorney to Glasgow from 1992 to 1994, when he resigned amid accusations of using the resources of his public office for his private law practice, among other things, according to a 1997 Herald-News article.
"It's a perfect opportunity to have a special prosecutor appointed. That gets somebody in there who's neutral," White said.
Bretz was arrested after a Lockport police officer caught him driving 55 mph in a 35 mph zone in the 700 block of State Street, police said. Bretz was driving a white 2018 Hyundai, court records show.
A Lockport police report said Bretz had a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath,” and red, watery, glassy eyes.
The officer asked Bretz to exit his vehicle and take a field sobriety test but he refused to do so, Lockport Deputy Police Chief Ron Huff said. The officer asked Bretz eight times to exit his car, Huff said, with Bretz repeatedly refusing.
Bretz did exit his car when the officer told him he was under arrest, Huff said. Bretz was arrested on probable cause of DUI and obstructing an officer, Huff said.
Patel filed a petition to rescind the statutory summary suspension of Bretz’s driving privileges.