Saturday, November 18, 2006


Including Records of Illegal Signing Of Express Scripts Contract By Mayor York

By Tony Brockmeyer

The First Capitol News has learned that a Federal Grand Jury Subpoena has been served on the City of St. Charles asking for City records including the records of the illegal signing of a contract with Express Scripts by Mayor York. (see Illegal Contract Draws Fire, February 5, 2005; By 10-0 Vote City Council Initiates An Investigation Into The Unauthorized Signing of Insurance Contract By Mayor, February 26, 2005; Unauthorized Signing Of Contract By Mayor Could result In Her Impeachment, Council To Hold Hearings Subpoena Witnesses, March 19, 2005; Mayor Attempts To Mislead Residents, April 9, 2005; Hearing Regarding Mayor’s Alleged Illegal Signing of Contract Will Be Held May 4th at 6pm, April 30, 2005; Kneemiller, Reese, Weller Refuse To Vote For Subpoenas In Hearing On Alleged Illegal Signing Of Contract By Mayor York, May 7, 2005; Express Scripts Demands $200,000 from City - Mayor York Signed Contract Without Council Approval, May 13, 2006; all can be found at .. Minutes of the meetings can be found in the records at St. Charles City Hall.

We have also learned that the City Council has approved an expenditure of approximately $25,000 that was used to hire a private attorney to make sure that the City complies with the subpoena in the proper fashion.

Because of the Fifth Amendment, the federal legal system has to use grand juries to bring charges, at least for certain offenses. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires charges for all capital and “infamous” crimes be brought by an indictment returned by a grand jury. The amendment has been interpreted to require that an indictment be used to charge federal felonies, unless a defendant waives his or her right to be indicted by a grand jury.  The Supreme Court has held that this part of the Fifth Amendment is not binding on the states, so they can use grand juries or not, as they wish.
If a defendant waives his or her right to be indicted by a grand jury, the prosecutor can charge them by using an “information.”  An information is simply a pleading that accuses the defendants of committing crimes, just as an indictment does.  The difference between an indictment and an information is that a grand jury must approve an indictment, while a prosecutor can issue an information without the grand jury’s approval or, for that matter, without ever showing the information to the grand jury. 
Since most federal prosecutions involve felony charges, grand juries play an important role in enforcing federal criminal law.
Federal grand juries are composed of between 16 and 23 individuals. Sixteen is the minimum and 23 is the maximum number that can constitute a federal grand jury.       
Since grand jury proceedings are secret, grand juries meet in private, which means they usually meet in areas that are not accessible to the public. Federal grand juries meet in special “grand jury rooms” that are located in generally out of the way areas of a federal courthouse.  Grand juries use subpoenas to gather the evidence they need to use in deciding whether crimes have been committed.  They can subpoena documents and physical evidence and they can subpoena witnesses to testify. 
In the federal system, grand juries are more likely to hear testimony from federal agents than from police officers, but they do sometimes hear from police officers, as well.  They are most likely to hear from police officers when they are investigating, drug trafficking or corruption in local government.
In the federal system, witnesses cannot be accompanied into the grand jury room by their attorney. 
Since witnesses have not been indicted, they have no constitutional right to counsel, since the Sixth Amendment right to counsel only applies after someone has been indicted
When it comes to a federal grand jury subpoena, U.S. attorneys, the federal government’s chief prosecutors, can convene grand juries to present evidence to indict someone for a crime. In a grand jury proceeding, there are no judges or defense attorneys. The U.S. attorneys present evidence and call and question witnesses in front of the jury. The jurors do not reach a verdict of guilty or innocent, but vote on whether the evidence and witnesses presented support the indictment sought by the federal prosecutor.

Several elected officials refused to comment citing the secrecy proceedings of a grand jury.

Since the proceedings of grand juries are secret, we were unable to obtain any further information regarding the subpoena served on the City of St. Charles.