Archive

Former DCFS supervisor who oversaw AJ Freund investigation appears in court

Image 1 of 4

The Crystal Lake parents convicted of beating and killing their 5-year-old son could be called to testify in the trials of two former child welfare employees who had contact with the family in 2018, court records show.

Former Illinois Department of Children and Family Services supervisor Andrew R. Polovin made a brief appearance Thursday morning in McHenry County court, where his case was continued to Dec. 15.

Polovin, 48, and fellow former DCFS worker Carlos Acosta, who also serves on the McHenry County Board, were arrested and criminally charged on Sept. 11 in connection with a December 2018 investigation.

Both Polovin and Acosta were involved in an investigation regarding a large bruise on AJ Freund's hip about four months before the boy died at the hands of his parents. Now the men are accused of allowing AJ to be placed in circumstances that endangered his life and health.

Information collected so far by prosecutors includes Illinois Department of Children and Family Services attendance records, personnel files, a report from the Office of the Inspector General and a Sept. 11 interview with AJ's father, Andrew Freund Sr.

He and the boy's mother, JoAnn D. Cunningham, were listed as potential witnesses who could be called to testify at the former DCFS employees' trials. Also named as potential witnesses were two Crystal Lake police officers and the doctor who examined AJ's hip in December.

Polovin and Acosta have pleaded not guilty to the charges of child endangerment to the health or life of a child causing death; causing circumstances endangering the health or life of a child causing death; and reckless conduct.

If convicted of the most serious count, they would face between two and five years in prison. The charges also are punishable by probation.

Both of AJ's parents, 37-year-old JoAnn D. Cunningham and 61-year-old Andrew Freund Sr., have pleaded guilty to charges tied to their son's death.

Cunningham was sentenced in July to 35 years in prison for first-degree murder in connection with the boy's death. Freund accepted a plea deal in September and was sentenced to 30 years in prison for aggravated battery of a child, involuntary manslaughter and concealment of a homicidal death.