Friday, November 25, 2005

Charges Dropped Against Neil Steinberg

From your Chicago Sun-Times:
A Cook County judge dismissed domestic battery charges against Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg on Wednesday after prosecutors said it appears Steinberg is complying with a court-ordered alcohol treatment program.

Prosecutors also spoke to Steinberg's wife, Edie, who testified that she wanted the case and an order of protection dropped.

"You are no longer in fear for your safety, is that correct?" Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Kenneth Alpert asked Edie Steinberg in the Skokie courtroom.

"That is correct," she replied.

Neil Steinberg was arrested in September and charged with striking his wife during an argument. He also was charged with interfering in the reporting of a domestic battery.

Last month, the columnist came to court holding his wife's hand and said he hoped the case would be dismissed. At that time, Judge Earl Hoffenberg sided with prosecutors, who wanted more time to see how Steinberg was progressing in his treatment program.

On Wednesday, Judge William O'Brien said that while dropping the charges gives the courts no mechanism to force Steinberg to continue treatment, O'Brien added, "I expect you to take heed of the advice and counsel."

Steinberg and his wife declined to talk to reporters as they left the courthouse.

Outside the courtroom, Alpert was asked if the resolution in the Steinberg case was typical.

"He was treated no differently than anybody else," Alpert replied.
Am I reading too much into things when I note that, although the Tribune story and previous S-T stories described Steinberg as a "Chicago Sun-Times columnist and editorial board member," this latest S-T story just said "columnist"?

In any event, let's all hope for the best for everyone involved.

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