By: Mark Glennon
Grand juries generally work in strict secrecy, so it’s interesting to wonder who did it when their work is leaked, which is not terribly common.
Today, the Sun-Times ran an exclusive story about a probe by the Cook County State’s Attorney of Governor Quinn’s anti-violence program. As part of that probe, the story says, a grand jury issued a subpoena to DCEO, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, which administered part of the program. From the Sun-Times story, it looks like the reporters had access to the subpoena itself as well as some later back and forth over the answer.
Pretty clearly, somebody on one side or the other of the legal proceeding leaked the existence of the subpoena. The Sun-Times presumably got confirmation and details just by contacting DCEO and asking, but who put out the initial tip that prompted them to do that? Does somebody at DCEO have it in for Quinn, or was somebody just so angry about what they saw that they wanted to kick some shins? Or was it somebody in Quinn’s office, which presumably was advised by DCEO of the subpoena? Anybody else in government who would have had the information to leak? There’s nothing wrong with a paper reporting things it gets that way, by the way.
It would be wrong, however, for a grand juror to have leaked it. They’re supposed to keep their work strictly confidential, as summarized here. Same with prosecutors and their staffs.
There’s probably an interesting story behind the story, in other words, but we may never hear it.