McHenry County State’s Attorney receives Attorney of the Year award

McHenry County State's Attorney Patrick Kenneally (right) talks with Criminal Division Chief James Newman Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, about changes implemented as a result of the SAFE-T Act at their office in the McHenry County Government Center in Woodstock.

McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally was awarded State’s Attorney of the Year by the United Hellenic Voters of America.

Kenneally has been McHenry County’s State’s Attorney since 2016. He is known for his role in the prosecuting team in the AJ Freund case. Father Andrew Freund was sentenced to 30 years in prison and mother JoAnn Cunningham was sentenced to 35 years for the murder of their 5-year-old son in 2019.

Kenneally also made headlines earlier this year when he filed a lawsuit against the Illinois gun ban. His lawsuit claimed that the assault rifle ban is a violation of the Second Amendment.

Kenneally, who is a Crystal Lake resident, said receiving the award is an honor but he sees it as an “office-wide award more than anything else.”

“There’s no way to parse me as a State’s Attorney out from the office and just all the incredible people that work for the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office,” said Kenneally about the award announced last week.

The United Hellenic Voters of America is a non-partisan political organization that serves the Greek-American population in the Chicago area. Receiving this award is the first time Kenneally interacted with the organization.

The recent litigation work McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office created against the SAFE-T Act’s elimination of cash bail and against Illinois’ assault weapon ban are some things Kenneally said he’s proud of. He also thinks the recent creation of the Crimes Against Children Task Force and DUI court may have helped him stand out for the award.

“We have been incredibly innovative and so I hope that award is a reflection of that,” Kenneally said.

The McHenry County Crimes Against Children Task Force formed last week and will be a collaboration of prosecutors and 20 McHenry County police departments to investigate child abuse. The DUI Court incorporates intervention programs to assist anyone experiencing alcoholism.

There will be an awards ceremony held on Sunday, Oct. 15, in Des Plaines to recognize Kenneally’s achievements.