Attorneys Still Seeking Notes from Brown's Chicken Report

Article excerpt

Byline: Kara Spak Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer

The contents of a file cabinet belonging to a government watchdog group in Chicago were at the heart of a hearing Wednesday for the two men accused of killing seven employees of a Palatine Brown's Chicken and Pasta restaurant.

For more than a year, attorneys for Juan Luna, 32, and James Degorski, 34, have sought the notes that went into the Better Government Association's 1997 report "Patent Malarkey," a report that was highly critical of Palatine police and the murder investigation.

On Wednesday, Samuel Fifer, an attorney for the Better Government Association, said the report may or may not be accurate. Regardless, the notes should continue to be protected from the attorneys, as Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan previously ruled, Fifer said.

Gaughan said in 2005 that the notes were protected from the defense attorneys because the Better Government Association was acting as a journalist when it published the report.

Trying to show there was no other way to get the information than through the notes, attorneys for Luna and Degorski have since questioned two dozen possible sources of the information, only four of whom said they may have talked to the report's author. …