The attorney for a Schaumburg man who pleaded guilty to drug charges last year filed a petition Friday to vacate his client's plea based on newly discovered evidence calling into question the credibility of a former Schaumburg undercover officer who currently faces drug charges of his own in DuPage County.
Defense attorney Victor Ciardelli filed the petition on behalf of his client Sean Cerami, 49, who pleaded guilty to manufacture and delivery of cocaine on April 13, 2012, in exchange for a four-year prison sentence.
Ciardelli says Cerami claimed former officer Matthew Hudak made false statements to obtain a search warrant. Cerami's attorney at that time requested a hearing to determine whether that was the case. The judge found the former officer more credible and ruled against Cerami, who subsequently pleaded guilty, Ciardelli said.
"I think this is a strong case," said Ciardelli, who expects prosecutors to file a reply to his motion at the next court hearing before Cook County Judge Kay Hanlon on June 14.
Illinois Department of Corrections records show Cerami was incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center and is currently on a work release program. His criminal background includes a 2009 conviction for cocaine possession for which Cerami received a four-year prison sentence, court records show.
Ciardelli said the 2009 case also involved Hudak, who was arrested in January along with fellow former officers John Cichy and Terrance O'Brien on charges of criminal drug conspiracy, delivery of a controlled substance, armed violence and official misconduct among others. All three resigned from the police department in January. Each has pleaded not guilty and has been released on bond.
Cerami's allegations don't encompass any activities Hudak has been charged with, said Hudak's attorney Thomas Glasgow, "as a result, there is no reason why the court should not stand by its previous ruling."
"There has been no allegation my client was involved in any wrong doing at the time this case was pending before the court," Glasgow said.