Petition accuses ex-lawyer for Drew Peterson of violating gag order

Drew Peterson (right) and his former attorney Joel Brodsky are seen May 21, 2008, leaving the Will County Jail. Peterson is facing new charges of attempting to solicit the murder of Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. Brodsky says his former client is being set up.

A petition accuses a past lawyer for former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson of violating his gag order when he made an appearance on NewsNation earlier this week to discuss his former client’s case.

The petition for an adjudication of indirect criminal contempt was filed Friday against Joel Brodsky, Peterson’s former lawyer.

According to the petition, an investigator with the Will County Public Defender’s Office determined that Brodsky “knowingly and willfully violated” the gag order that was imposed on him in 2022 by appearing live on Ashleigh Banfield’s NewsNation show to speak about the Peterson case.

A YouTube link to the NewsNation video posted Wednesday of Brodsky’s interview with Banfield was provided in the petition.

In the video, Brodsky pushed back against Peterson’s complaint that he made a mistake by not allowing Peterson to testify at trial.

“There’s one reason a lawyer can’t let a client testify, if the client wants to testify, and that’s if the lawyer knows the guy is going to get up on the stand and lie. So basically, Drew’s kind of confirming. I’m trying to walk right up to the line and not cross it,” Brodsky said on NewsNation. “But what Drew’s doing is basically affirming that I know – I know what happened.”

When asked by Banfield about Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson, Brodsky said he wanted to pay a visit to Peterson and “see him do the right thing.” When pressed by Banfield about the “right thing,” Brodsky said, “tell the truth.”

“What’s that truth?” Banfield said.

“Well, I want him to tell,” Brodsky said.

The petition requested that Brodsky “through summons or warrant” to be brought before Will County Judge Dave Carlson on March 6 at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet.

The petition was signed by attorneys with the public defender’s office and the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Brodsky said the attorneys at the public defender’s office would’ve known if Peterson was visiting with reporters at the prison.

“The public defender’s office says Drew needs a competency exam but then let him talk to a reporter trying to get him to confess on video,” Brodsky said.

In 2022, the public defender’s office had requested a gag order on Brodsky after his interview with WGN-TV, in which he said he was considering revealing what Peterson told him about his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who vanished in 2007.

In 2012, Peterson was convicted of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, 40.

The petition Friday follows the public defender’s office’s issuance of subpoenas to representatives of NewsNation and WGN-TV after Banfield’s exclusive interview of Peterson earlier this week.

The subpoenas ask the representatives to appear in court March 6 or mail the requested documents to the courthouse by that date.

Drew Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police officer, was back in a Will County courtroom on Monday, Feb. 5, 2024. Peterson made his first court appearance since filing a petition seeking to overturn his 2012 conviction for the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio in 2004.