Today, October 12, 2016, marks the 22-month anniversary of the sealing of the 5th Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2. -- an Order issued by Presiding Judge Steve P. Leskinen on December 12, 2014.
To view the docket sheet entry of the Order Presenting SEALED Grand Jury Fifth Presentment, see the top of Page 7 of 8 of the Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 Docket Sheet.
For approximately thirteen months of the former administration of then-District Attorney Jack R. Heneks, Jr., and now for more than nine months of the current administration of Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower, the 5th Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 has remained sealed.
In a previous post in this space we pondered the possible reasons for the dormancy of the 5th Presentment.
Other presentments from Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2 have been prosecuted and penalties have been meted out. Juxtaposing the prosecutions of other presentments and the 22-month sealing of the 5th Presentment raises serious questions. While a previous post in this space covered some of those questions, it bears reiteration that the most serious question is the one which regards equal justice under law.
When the Fayette County Grand Jury No.2 issued a presentment, by law, it had to also be approved by Presiding Judge Steve Leskinen. Thus, presentments are not issued haphazardly. For a presentment to issue against an individual, evidence must exist that points to a crime. Moreover, as the district attorney leads the grand jury in its investigation and in the issuance of presentments, the district attorney usually follows the recommendations of a grand jury. In fact, the case where a district attorney refuses to follow the recommendations of a grand jury is virtually unheard of. Why would a district attorney urge a presentment to be issued only never to bring an indictment?
This leads us to the heart of the matter: It is inherently unequal justice under law to prosecute individuals under other presentments while the individual named in the sealed (for 22 months!) 5th Presentment remains unnamed, unindicted, and unprosecuted.
Grand jury secrecy laws are in place to elicit testimony and to shield witnesses from threats; grand jury secrecy laws are not in place to shield district attorneys and judges from public scrutiny and accountability.
It's high time the public received some answers on why the 5th Presentment has remained sealed for 22 months and when it will be unsealed.
After 22 months, it's time for Fayette County Grand Jury Presiding Judge Steve P. Leskinen and Fayette County District Attorney Richard E. Bower to be held accountable to the public which paid for the grand jury and which has every right to know what is being done/what will be done with the sealed 5th Presentment of Fayette County Grand Jury No. 2.
As Sealed 5th Presentment Approaches 11 Months, DA Heneks Refuses Comment
The Heneks-Mahoney Grand Jury Connection
The Prosecution of Walter "Deb" Wiltrout, the Non-Investigation of the 3rd Referral, and the Absence of a 9th Presentment
Fayette County Grand Jury 5th Presentment Sealing Reaches 1 Year