Repeat Offender Hall of Shame

Repeat Offender

Hall of Shame

 

WARNING: We urge you to visit the traffic court in your county and observe the proceedings on how drunk drivers and repeat offenders are getting plea bargained back out on the streets – to endanger you and your children, as you see on this site. At least once a week.

There is nothing that takes a higher priority. The courts belong to you, your tax dollars fund their salaries. They are your employees. Leah Johnson.

Be aware through Citizen’s Advocates 4 Justice web site that your constitutional rights are being violated by your criminal justice system as you can see from their lengthy arrest records below. Your 14th amendment to due process has been violated. This has been going on for years unbeknownst to us. There is no higher crime than violating their sacred oath to uphold your constitutional rights to protect your family. (People have said it’s mass murder) Many of these tragedies were preventable if we had responsible and ethical government. It is time we incarcerate these political criminals for all the justice denied to law abiding citizens.

To honor the memory of Laura and Dina and all others whose lives were destroyed needlessly, sign our petitions for power of the people. Approximately 50,000 drivers are charged with driving while intoxicated in Illinois per year. Of those, an estimated 20% are repeat offenders. Calculated, that means 10,000 people annually are charged with more than one DUI violation. Statistics show that the percentage of repeat offenders increases to 33% nationally. It is frightening to think of what happens when those figures are compounded year after year.

We are sharing our highways with hundreds of thousands of repeat drunk drivers – potential time bombs just waiting to explode, endangering the lives of those around us. Drunk driving has been called the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime, yet light sentences and dismissed charges continue to prevail. Our own criminal justice system is enabling these criminals to strike again and again. How many lives will be destroyed before something is done?  Citizen’s Advocates 4 Justice is ready to take action, but we need your support.

Click on the link below:

Drunk driving repeat offenders


Repeat Offender Hall of Shame

DUI Plea Deals – CA4J Spotlight

DUI Plea Deals

sidestep mandatory

license loss

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How Illinois drivers get away with DUIs

Joe Mahr and Ted Gregory,Tribune reporters
Lose your license for DUI? The law may say so, but many suburbs cut deals around it.

Illinois’ tough-sounding DUI statutes make one thing clear: Those arrested for drunken driving are almost guaranteed to lose their licenses for a time.

But in suburbs across the Chicago area, a Tribune analysis found a special plea deal is regularly cut that allows those arrested to weave around get-tough laws and remain behind the wheel.

That’s in stark contrast to laws that proclaim anyone arrested for drunken driving will not be able to drive for at least a month, typically followed by months of intensive supervision that include a breath-monitoring device on their vehicles.

Defense attorneys say the Tribune’s findings reflect a common-sense response by the courts to an overly harsh law, while advocates for tougher enforcement say the special deals reflect longtime concerns that some towns seem more interested in collecting fines than rehabilitating offenders.

“I don’t know what can be done,” said Rita Kreslin, executive director of the Schaumburg-based Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. “We all know this is a moneymaker.”

When told of the Tribune’s findings, Secretary of State Jesse White said he would seek recommendations from his traffic safety advisory panel on how to better enforce the law.

The analysis showed the deal occurs across the state. But the data suggest that in metro Chicago drivers in DuPage County are most likely to be offered the deal. And within the county ground zero for the deal has been a middle-class enclave in the heart of suburbia: Bloomingdale, a west suburb known more for shopping malls than unusual courthouse tactics.

The Tribune studied 2011 misdemeanor DUI arrests — to best ensure cases had been completed in the courts. Records show the plea deal was regularly cut in Bloomingdale not just for first-time offenders barely over the legal alcohol limit, but also for those who crashed or were previously arrested for DUI. In case after case, they didn’t miss a single day behind the wheel.

One was Jorge Gamboa.

According to police reports, Gamboa rear-ended a car so hard in Bloomingdale that it flew across an intersection, injuring the other driver. Testing at nearly twice the legal alcohol limit, he insisted he wasn’t drunk.

Another was Lawrence Sbertoli.

He had pleaded guilty two years earlier to a DUI in Oak Brook before he tested at three times the legal limit in Bloomingdale, according to court and police records. On the way to the station, Sbertoli dropped a balled-up receipt in the back of the squad car that indicated he paid for 10 drinks that night, records state.

Also getting the deal was Frank Willis.

It was his third arrest in a decade, according to police and court records. Each time he refused testing, which is supposed to trigger an even longer suspension. Willis got a suspension after his second arrest in Mount Prospect. But he got no suspension for his third, in which Bloomingdale police said he nearly sideswiped a moving vehicle.

Another three-peater getting the deal was Joseph Zuccaro.

In his first DUI arrest, Zuccaro, then 20, crashed a new SUV into a light pole while being pursued by Glendale Heights police, according to records. He was arrested a second time at age 26 in Lombard before his third arrest in Bloomingdale at age 29. He refused breath tests all three times, flatly telling the latest duiofficer to question him: “Just go ahead and arrest me.”

Two of the drivers who spoke to the Tribune said they deserved the deal because they weren’t really drunk, but records show they agreed to deals that included hefty fines.

Bloomingdale is under a new mayor, Franco Coladipietro. He switched prosecutors after taking office in 2013 but said it had nothing to do with complaints the old prosecutor was too lenient.

Bloomingdale’s former prosecutor did not respond to requests for comment from the Tribune, but in the past defended the deals as better ways to ensure drivers get treatment and avoid repeat arrests.

Special prosecutors

The revelations come amid a decadeslong debate about just how much to punish drunken drivers — in a state with a rich history of get-tough legislation that contains enough fine print for arrestees to wiggle out of supposedly automatic penalties.

A cornerstone of the law is the automatic loss of a driver’s license even if you’re only arrested and not convicted.

To supporters of get-tough laws, the threat of losing a license provides a key incentive to keep many drivers sober. It also is a tangible punishment for those who drive drunk yet are cut breaks by what advocates often deride as notoriously lenient courts eager to cash in on lucrative DUI fines.

“I believe a driver’s license is a precious commodity,” said Cathy Stanley, an anti-DUI advocate whose daughter was killed in 2001 by a repeat drunken driver.

“If they’re not hit right away with a consequence, it’s so old it becomes meaningless,” added Stanley, who monitors the courts for the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists. “We all need consequences, and it’s not in fines. It’s in losing that driver’s license.”

Critics, including many defense attorneys, counter that those arrested have a hard time being rehabilitated if they lose licenses they need to keep their jobs, drive to counseling and pay off fines. They bemoan get-tough laws that they say seem geared for politicians’ re-election brochures, not problem-solving.

“It became overly harsh, and not everybody fits that cookie-cutter mold,” said longtime Wheaton DUI defense attorney Don Ramsell, who said his office has handled more than 14,000 DUI cases. “You can’t excise human compassion. You can’t steal people’s souls.”

And some of those defense attorneys — because of the peculiarities of Illinois’ court system — also find themselves on the other side of the courtroom handling the prosecution for DUI cases.

Illinois allows many cities and villages to prosecute their own DUI cases and keep much of the fine money. Cities and villages typically hire part-time prosecutors, drawing applicants from the ranks of defense attorneys, many of whom have cut their teeth defending drivers arrested for DUI.

Critics say those defense attorneys-turned-prosecutors are more willing to cut the special deal in ways that stretch the boundaries of state law.

Dodging suspensions

It’s because of the unique way DUIs are prosecuted.

Just for testing over the legal alcohol limit or refusing testing, a driver can have his or her license suspended by the secretary of state. This “statutory summary suspension” is supposed to occur 46 days after an arrest, regardless of what’s going on in the criminal case.

635927041187205797-dui-posterSeparately, if the criminal case ends with a DUI conviction, that also sparks a license revocation, a sanction that requires greater effort for a driver to undo.

The suspension and revocation are supposed to complement each other to take drivers off the road for at least a month, and then bring them back with restrictions, such as breath-monitoring devices installed in their cars, before they get their full licenses back.

But there are ways to stay on the road. For the statutory suspension, the defendant can ask a judge to void the suspension but has to prove at a hearing that police somehow mishandled the arrest. Examples might include the police lacking a good reason to stop the driver or not offering the chance to take a test to prove sobriety.

The prosecutor, in theory, tries to show that the arrest was legitimate, and the judge is left to decide whether to toss the suspension.

But when the plea deal is cut, the prosecutor, in essence, lets the driver win the suspension hearing and keep his or her license. The law offers only a limited number of ways that can happen — a plea deal is not one of them. And yet the Tribune found that on many court forms someone justified letting the driver win by scribbling some version of the phrase “plea deal.”

The deal also ends the criminal case — and the chance of a revocation — with a finding that it wasn’t technically a DUI conviction. A driver is convicted of a lesser crime, such as reckless driving or improper lane usage. Or the driver can plead guilty to DUI but get sentenced to a special probation that doesn’t technically count as a conviction.

Either way, without a formal conviction for DUI, no license revocation is triggered.

The legal maneuvering often creates a head-turning set of documents in the court file.

Drivers will “win” the hearings on the summary suspension, implying they were wrongfully arrested, yet plead guilty to driving drunk. Then they’ll be sentenced in ways that carry hefty fines and fees — often $2,000 to $3,000 — but aren’t officially logged as DUI convictions.

Though the legal matrix can be confusing to follow, the end result is simple: no loss of license.

Towns that deal

The plea deal has been offered for years, prompting occasional public outrage from advocates and county officials. But the state hasn’t studied how often the deals are cut — or where.

In an effort to find out, the Tribune analyzed suspension and conviction data from the secretary of state’s office for those arrested in 2011, looking for the highest rates of drivers who kept their licenses.

In the Chicago area, that appeared to occur most often in DuPage County, according to the analysis.

The Tribune obtained court data from DuPage County to study where the deals were offered the most — scoring suburbs based on how often drivers left the courthouse without losing a day of driving.

Whether someone got the deal often depended on where he or she got the DUI.

In Burr Ridge, which straddles the Cook-DuPage border, only one of the 31 people arrested for DUI on the DuPage County side stayed on the roads uninterrupted after the arrest — for a rate of 3 percent.

But the town is one of 15 suburbs in DuPage County that haven’t hired their own prosecutors. Instead, the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office handles the cases, and — common of countywide prosecutors — they’re leery of offering the more generous deals.

That’s often not the case for towns that handle their own prosecutions.

Image result for back door dealsIn Wheaton, the 2011 figures show the deal was cut for 19 percent of those arrested for misdemeanor DUI.

It was cut for 22 percent of those arrested in Elmhurst.

And 23 percent in Naperville.

And 37 percent in Downers Grove.

And 50 percent in Bloomingdale.

Those numbers don’t count the times when a driver got the special deal after the summary suspension started. In those cases, drivers lost their licenses, but only for a few days or weeks until the deal was cut. Then everything returned to normal for their licenses, as if the DUI never happened.

Adding those cases to the mix, the rate of arrested DUI drivers who benefited sometimes doubled in suburbs, topping out at 76 percent in Bloomingdale.

`I don’t even drink’

That west suburb of 22,000 stands out among its peers for having a regional mall that anchors rows of big-box stores. But it also drew the ire of former DuPage County State’s Attorney Joseph Birkett, who told the Daily Herald in 2005 that the town was far too lenient in how it cut deals for those arrested for DUI.

Still, the plea deals continued — even to those previously arrested for DUI. In the 2011 cases studied by the Tribune, repeat arrestees were more likely than not to get the deal. Eighteen had their suspensions voided — most of them after refusing to be tested.

Records show the town made the prosecutor, Thomas Howard, file reports every month documenting how he handled DUI cases.

For some cases he said he cut the deal out of sympathy for the defendant, such as: “Gave 58-year-old woman chance to save job.” He didn’t note it was her second arrest in a year.

Other times, Howard complained of weak evidence, such as with Willis and Zuccaro. In both cases, he justified the deal by saying in his reports that there were no field sobriety tests or breath tests. He did not note that the tests weren’t given because both men refused to take them, according to police reports — a scenario envisioned under Illinois law that mandates at least a one-year license suspension.

Instead, court records show, the two men got the special deal that voided that suspension.

Willis and Zuccaro both told the Tribune they weren’t drunk the nights they were arrested by Bloomingdale.

Zuccaro said he simply didn’t “trust the computer” and that he “would never take a sobriety test. I don’t even drink. I’m a diabetic.”

Willis also said he’s never been drunk enough to merit arrest. That, he said, included his most recent arrest, 11 months ago, in Chicago’s Portage Park neighborhood. Police said they saw him stumbling out of a parked car, with its engine running, carrying a bottle of rum and smelling of alcohol, records show.

When an officer asked to test him, Willis responded: “I have had DUIs before and I ain’t doing any tests, officer. Nothing against you.”

jmahr@tribune.com tgregory@tribune.com


DUI Plea Deals

Image result for chicago tribune

 sidestep mandatory license loss

DUI Justice Long Overdue

Chronic drunken driver gets prison

in Naperville DUI case

David R. Carlson

a 62-year-old man who whose blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when he crashed his SUV in Naperville last year was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for his fourth DUI conviction.

Naperville police said they found 15 cans of beer inside David R. Carlson’s sport utility vehicle following the Feb. 6, 2015, crash on the city’s far northwest side. A breath test determined Carlson’s blood-alcohol content at the time was .278.

Carlson, of the 5300 block of Woodland Drive in Oak Forest, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of aggravated DUI/fourth violation, according to DuPage County court records.

Three other counts of aggravated DUI were dismissed in exchange for the plea, as were five traffic citations, records showed. Judge Robert A. Miller accepted Carlson’s plea and sentenced him to prison, followed by two years of mandatory supervised release, records said.

Carlson crashed his vehicle at the intersection of North Aurora Road and Route 59, landing in a concrete ditch created by the mammoth Route 59 reconstruction project under way at the time.

Police found Carlson walking toward a nearby pharmacy, and when asked if he had been drinking, Carlson said, “Don’t do this to me,” and that he had “to take care of his wife,” who was not with him at the time, police reports said. Carlson also claimed “his doctor was sending him to the hospital tomorrow for alcoholism,” the report said.

Carlson could not perform the sobriety tests police administered on the scene, and 10 empty beer cans and five full cans were found on the floor and center console of his SUV.

At the time of his arrest, Carlson was wanted on arrest warrants for DUI cases pending in DuPage and Lake counties and in Crown Point, Ind. Carlson had had his license revoked several times for DUI, reports said.

Attempts to reach members of Carlson’s family by telephone for comment Wednesday were unsuccessful.

Carlson is being held in the DuPage County Jail pending his transfer to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

wbird@tribpub.com

Copyright © 2016, Naperville Sun

Laura and Dina – Gone but not Forgotten

Laura & Dina

– Gone but not Forgotten

On Aug. 22, 1985,, you were taken from us, not by illness or natural causes.  We could have adjusted to that.  But you were killed. The murder weapon was a car. The  driver of the car, Timothy  Sullivan’s  blood  alcohol levels  proved he was drunk.

The evening began as did many others, you and your best girlfriend Dina left by car.  In a few short  hours  we were  summoned  to  the  hospital  – My daughter  Laura, and  Dina,  were already gone. Their car was struck with deadly force by one driven by Sullivan. Our grief was unbearable.

As your birthday nears and holidays come and go, we remember the joy and happy times we had for such a few short years. I miss you so painfully as we all do and your loving ways. After you had been laid to rest, I took some small comfort in believing that justice would be done.

During the weeks that followed my frustration turned to outrage. When I met with James Ryan, our states attorney, I saw his deceit immediately.  It was beyond a feeling of helplessness for me and my family; A horrible unreal feeling.  Soon after we had to hire an investigator  to learned that Sullivan had 19 arrests relating to alcohol, Many reduces, Ryan the states attorney was victimizing by not calling  us. , Didn’t offer us his horrific record His responsibility, Many were plead and reduced.We were in shock!  We learned later about the connection between his parents .and Terry Ekl  THE MASTER OF THE COURTS OF DUPAGE DWI FELONS.and DWi Don Ramsell, plud Jim Ryan our new states attorney were all friends with the family. What we discovered by investigation,

He is now currently a 25 time offender, and driving while revoked, thanks to this top criminal DWI lawyer. terry ekl The lawyer is why he still had a valid driver’s license, illegally of course, He had a  prior DWI  in 84 .before the crash and the approval of the states attorney and specially selected judge!  We all had a catastrophic wake up call! It was a one party conspiracy game. racket was told by a Suntimes reporter,  you have no one to help you!

Enter now Frances Cuneo, village attorney-crook-extraordinaire who got him supervision.in the 84  DWI with judge jerz  illegally, plead. We  continued to investigated everyrthing, possible, including the mandates of laws. We also investigated their big mansions of homes .Paid with our blood and the criminal fathers blood money . I now discover why there is many DWI homicides. The cause and effect.is all malpractice liability of our law behind the closed doors on the 4th floor of the courts, The stench was unbearable to me .  We have unequivocally seen Hell and lived in it for a year,  Truth be told They all live with blood on their hands .for their net-worth.  God will be the  judge for us as they enter  Hell, Not only in Washington but all of our court systems.. The girls were one minute from their homes. as I was anxiously waiting with her golden retriever.  This is  where yours and every mothers and families worst nightmares begins and has by thousands of familys by mulible drunk drivers  See jaw dropping record in my life story. Truth be told again,  It’s literally a Russian Roulette game and you and your family are not immune. Be forewarned.

It is like they were murdered twice, once by the arrest record by all the plea bargaining  Then got his license back on the previous DWI even after alcoholic testing and grading laws violated,   Thereafter the plea bargaining again repeated,un-deterred by the court system he murders my daughter and friend all by an alcoholic father, and mother,  I feel now in Hell by bribery  (its no brainier of a 18 mo work release freed by the Judges chambers  revolving door, Hows that for freedom and our civil rights protected as a mockery .You and all of us have been getting victimized for years. behind closed doors,Its a  large brothel.   This is now your priority wake up call. Business as usual everyday, . Our family and all their friends suffered beyond belief, to see Sullivan get away with a virtual double homicide of work release. plead again, Nothing could be more criminal of bribery, The girls were then re-victimized by this repelling sentence  Blatant inadequate 18 month work release, in the county jail , not  the DOC prison.

The county jail, with then Sheriff Doria was set up for him to enter every day allowed to arrive around midnight we were informed., so he partied after work till late.and was well protected at midnite,coming in. and we were informed  always had alcohol on his breath which he had access to at the train station before he got on the train . How  convenient,, plus his other drugs as marijuana . How is that for your tax money and your familys safety as a free ride.?

The public and major news about our fight was astounding.  Two grieving mothers fighting for justice. Nevertheless  i am proud we made changes in  some laws, and saved many lives by our expose for these girls lives,, The pain never goes away for us and  truth be told my life has literally ended, since,….. It is without a doubt, a “criminal protection system”.  We trusted. A giant IRS I need everyone to join and help me in my uphill battle for  a new court system by us  law abiding citizens Justice must prevail is our mission.by mobilizing. and being a pledged member, I cant do it without you,  to protect you,.

Sullivan’s sentence, to hold a job and check in at the county jail at night, was a classic case of patronage,. Money is the Godfather of our corrupt court system They are opportunists for their partisan party ,and money laundering, The name of the game.  This habitual DWI felon and thousands more,is your wake up call..

If u  want to hold them all accountable.for our audits and research i am dedicated to..please sign our pledges

Did it matter that Laura and Dina lie in their graves?  We thought our system was meant to dispense justice?  Men have been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing with a gun or knife . Why is it different when the weapon is a car?  (because its easy money by pleading DWI’S s,,,,,, A TIME BOMB ON WHEELS. ………….A killer of any type forfeits his right to be a part of society.

As for the public official who do not prosecute to the full letter of the law?  They are beyond and worse than the criminals who drink and drive and murder, ,and are accountable by plea bargaining and undeterred decisions.for decades, They are mega millionaires.due to our addictions. They will now be held responsible by CCWN,  My legacy to my daughter and all victims They will also lose their license’s and will be disbarred by civil rights attorneys. as George Ryan You kill with your car, you lose your freedom. and license permanently and pay the price .law abiding citizens have rights to drive safely, and now demand  higher sentence’s for murder and maiming   Your thousands of dollars will not get u plead  and citizens justice denied!

– Leah Johnson, founder of Citizens Court Watchers Network


Laura & Dina – Gone but not Forgotten