Diane Chavez wins acquittal!

Posted: October 13, 2011 by freerichardwanke in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

Our heart-felt thanks goes to Attorney Peter Buh, of Wheaton, IL., who worked his butt off to grasp the complexities of facts and the law of this case. He did a superb job defending Diane Chavez. If you need a caring, and knowledgeable lawyer who is a true “trial” attorney and goes the extra mile, we recommend him wholeheartedly! Email us at freerichardwanke.com and we will provide you with his contact information.

Rockford Register Star story of acquittal of Diane Chavez

Woman in Clark murder case acquitted of records charges

By Jeff Kolkey
Posted Oct 12, 2011 @ 04:34 PM

Last update Oct 12, 2011 @ 04:37

ROCKFORD — A Department of Human Services employee was acquitted today of charges she tampered with public records even though she brought home thousands of documents that included private information, Social Security numbers and medical bills of at least 10 public aid applicants.

Diane Chavez — who along with her tenant, Richard E. Wanke, was once considered a person of interest by detectives investigating the Feb. 6, 2008, murder of Gregory H. Clark — was found not guilty by Judge Joseph McGraw.

McGraw ruled that the Winnebago County prosecutors had failed to prove that removing the case files from the Winnebago County DHS offices was illegal.

Both Chavez, 53, and Wanke, a former client of Clark’s, were arrested on the day of Clark’s killing but never charged with his death.

Chavez testified she had in 2006 and 2007 become overwhelmed by her caseload because state case workers were being forced to pull double duty as clerks. She started bringing clerical work home with her and quickly created an insurmountable mountain of documents.

She never returned the documents, sought overtime pay or informed supervisors she was bringing the work home.

McGraw said Chavez did not bring more files home with her after a supervisor’s e-mail was distributed in 2007 saying that taking files home was prohibited. But prosecutors never showed there was sufficient notice that removing the case files would risk criminal prosecution, McGraw ruled.

The records were stored in 11 boxes stored in the house she shared with Wanke. They were discovered as detectives investigated the death of Clark in the winter of 2008.
Clark was shot while he was pushing a snowblower on the sidewalk around his home in the 1700 block of Oak Forest Drive. Police said a gunman jumped out of a van and shot Clark several times, returned to the van and sped off.

Chavez still faces obstruction of justice charges that she lied to police about whether Wanke lived with her when Wanke was wanted for questioning. After the shooting, Wanke was sentenced to 14 years in prison for unrelated burglary charges in Winnebago County. Clark was Wanke’s attorney of record when he was killed.

No one has been arrested for Clark’s murder.

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