Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Cook County Circuit Judge Jim Ryan invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination again and again and again and -- a total of 150 times -- during a deposition about allegations that Cook County jail officials covered up beatings of inmates.

Ryan, who is Sheriff Michael Sheahan's second cousin, was also Sheahan's director of operations before becoming a judge last November.

From your Chicago Tribune:
A Cook County judge repeatedly invoked his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination during a deposition about allegations that jail officials covered up beatings of inmates during his tenure as a close aide to Sheriff Michael Sheahan.

Circuit Judge Jim Ryan refused to answer questions 150 times during a deposition taken in a federal lawsuit filed by two former jail guards, according to a transcript of Ryan's testimony. ***

In the deposition taken Aug. 30, Ryan answered nine initial questions about where he had gone to college and to law school and confirming that he was a lawyer and a judge. ***

Ryan then refused to answer a series of questions about whether he demanded that supervisors contribute to Sheahan's campaign fund, whether he interfered with internal investigations of jail beatings or whether he knew of others blocking investigations. The two former guards had sought Ryan's testimony in their civil suit against Sheahan, sheriff's supervisors, other guards and Cook County. The former guards say a pattern of harassment and threats forced them to resign when they refused to cover up an alleged jail beating in 2000. ***

Ryan came under scrutiny last year after the release of a state grand jury report that accused sheriff's officials of covering up an earlier mass beating of inmates in 1999. While the grand jury did not allege Ryan covered up the incident, it advised prosecutors that his "role should be scrutinized more closely" and found "him to be not credible." ***

In addition to that report, former jail commander Richard Remus alleged in his own federal lawsuit filed in March that Ryan told an investigator to "get rid of" the internal investigation into the 1999 beating.

Remus' suit went further than the grand jury report and charged that Ryan was directly involved in the alleged cover-up.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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