September 18, 2014 – Public Defender Frank Perri withdraws

Winnebago County Public Defender, Karen Sorensen, job responsibility was to assign public defenders to homicide cases. Immediately, she and her office demonstrated their ambivalence towards representing Richard Wanke, by her appointment of attorney Frank Perri to represent Richard. Perri immediately filed a motion to withdraw from the case. In court in this appearance to argue his motion, Perri said he had a serious per se conflict-of-interest in representing Richard due to the close working and mentor association Perri had with the victim, attorney Gregory Clark. Perri’s assignment to the case made no sense and only delayed the case, particularly when he revealed that he was only forced to file the motion to withdraw because of Sorensen’s (and her Deputy, David Doll’s) refusal to remove him from the case after he told them each of his conflict.

The Winnebago County Public Defender’s actions here showed a lack of concern with protecting Richard Wanke’s rights, and it forced Judge Collins to do what it should have done on it’s own; remove Frank Perri from his assignment to represent Richard Wanke, a client he was greatly conflicted with.


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