An Appellate Court affirmed Thursday a district court’s ruling in a case involving two former La Salle County state’s attorneys.
Brian Towne alleged Karen Donnelly had prosecuted him in retaliation for his previous campaign for state’s attorney, and in doing so, violated his First Amendment rights. The district court dismissed the complaints as untimely.
Thursday, the Appellate Court affirmed the limitations period had begun to run when he was indicted, not when he was acquitted.
Towne’s attorney Shawn Barnett said Thursday his client plans to bring the case before the state court.
“We are disappointed, but we respect the opinion of the Seventh District,” Barnett said. “Our next step is to focus on Mr. Towne prevailing in state court. We are confident once a jury hears the claims they will agree with Mr. Towne’s assertion that the complaint was correct, the prosecution was politically motivated and not supported by facts or the law.”
Donnelly did not return a phone message Friday afternoon.
Towne served as La Salle County state’s attorney from 2006-2016. He was defeated by Donnelly in 2016.
After Donnelly took office, Towne was indicted on charges by a grand jury, but a special prosecutor appointed to the case did not act on the charges against Towne, allowing Towne to move to dismiss the charges. That motion was granted and charges were dismissed.
Donnelly no longer serves in the La Salle County state’s attorney’s office. She was defeated in 2020 by Todd Martin, who was recently appointed a judge seat.