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updated: 11/15/2011 5:57 PM

Des Plaines attorney jailed in contempt case

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Clients seeking Des Plaines attorney Wayne Adams over the next day or so may not find him at his office or the courthouse.

They will have to look for him at Cook County Jail, where he was taken Tuesday morning on the orders of a Cook County judge who found Adams guilty of indirect criminal contempt of court after he failed to appear for a jury trial at the Rolling Meadows courthouse. Judge Alfred Levinson imposed a two-day sentence on the former Des Plaines police sergeant and onetime alderman who was immediately taken into custody.

Levinson also fined Adams $500 and ordered him to reimburse the village for its expenses.

It was unclear if Adams remained in custody late Tuesday. A call to his office seeking comment was not returned.

Tuesday's finding concluded a monthlong series of events that began Oct. 14, when Adams requested a jury trial for a client who received a traffic ticket following a fender bender. Arlington Heights village prosecutor Ernest Blomquist said he and Adams spent the morning of Oct. 14 picking a jury, after which Judge Alfred Levinson instructed everyone to return by 1:15 p.m. to begin the trial.

That time came and went, said Blomquist, but Adams did not appear.

"We never heard from him," Blomquist said. Neither had Adams' client, who paid $250 for the jury trial, said Blomquist. Bloomquist, who has been practicing law for about 40 years, added that he had never heard of a lawyer requesting a jury trial for this type of traffic offense.

At about 2:15 p.m. that day, a representative from Adams' office arrived to say the attorney was in Chicago at a real estate closing. Blomquist said the jurors and the other parties involved waited for a couple hours,

Later that afternoon, Levinson appointed another attorney to represent the woman, who was convicted and fined. He also ordered Blomquist to charge Adams with contempt in that he "intentionally and willfully brought the court in disrepute by abandoning his client," Blomquist said.

Adams responded with an affirmative defense during Tuesday's hearing before Levinson, claiming it was necessary for him to abandon one client in favor of another, Blomquist said.

Blomquist said the guilty finding requires him to report Adams to Illinois' Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, which could sanction or disbar him.

"It makes me said," said Blomquist, "but my obligation is to protect the system from those who disrespect it."

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