Friday, November 2, 2018
Chicago Tribune has a story on the dangers of prosecuting attorneys
A longtime Crystal Lake attorney has been accused again of threatening a state regulator, this time while he was on probation for previous drunken-driving and gun-related offenses.
Donald Franz, 52, has been rearrested on felony telephone harassment charges, according to court records, and is being held without bond in Cook County Jail for allegedly threatening an official with the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. That agency had already suspended Franz from practicing law.
According a Chicago police arrest report, Franz left a voicemail for the official in July, telling him: “You destroyed me, you filthy Democrat. Burn in hell. You started this fight but I’m finishing it. I’m coming after you.” The report said the voicemail “was not verbatim.”
The alleged offense occurred while Franz was on probation stemming from his arrest in Crystal Lake in early 2017. In that incident, Franz was pulled over on suspicion of drunken driving, was also accused of resisting arrest, and police said they found a loaded gun in his car.
Because he was a well-known attorney and the son of a former judge in McHenry County, prosecutors and judges there excused themselves from the case. Franz eventually pleaded guilty to DUI, resisting a police officer and failure to surrender his FOID card, and a judge from another county sentenced him to two years of probation.
Franz has been accused before of threatening officials from the agency that oversees attorney discipline.
A previous complaint filed by the commission claimed that, after it began looking into his conduct in a dispute with a client, he left several menacing voicemail messages for agency officials, including a threat to “kill you with my bare hands.”
It wasn’t immediately clear who is representing Franz on the new charges. A lawyer who represented Franz in McHenry County could not be reached.
Freelance reporters Amanda Marrazzo and Brian L. Cox contributed.