Like son, like father ... sort of

Published7/14/2008 12:12 AM

Last month, McHenry County authorities issued felony charges against 36-year-old Wheeling resident Michael G. Leon.

Last week, it was his dad's turn.


Authorities issued an arrest warrant Wednesday for George Leon, 69, on allegations he was harassing a witness in the sex abuse case against his son.

The charges allege the elder Leon, 1335 Glengarry Court, was spotted outside the witness' home at 10 p.m. July 8 snapping photographs of the residence. When approached by the witness, court documents state, Leon grabbed at the man in a threatening manner.

Charges allege Leon then called the McHenry County Sheriff's Department and falsely claimed he was the victim of an assault.

As a result, Leon faces charges of harassing a witness, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault. The harassing charge, the most serious of the three, is punishable by three to seven years in prison.

That is the same amount of time Michael Leon faces if found guilty of the two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse lodged against him in June. Those charges stem from allegations made against him by a 13-year-old McHenry County girl.

Like his father, Michael Leon is a wanted man after a judge issued a $40,000 arrest warrant for him when he failed to appear in court Thursday as scheduled.

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Digging out in Harvard: Score one for the environmentalists.

A state appeals court ruled last week that Harvard officials improperly approved plans for a gravel mine on 792 acres near the city's northwest border because they did not first consult with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The unanimous ruling, which upheld a 2007 decision by a McHenry County judge, is a victory for the McHenry County Defenders, a local conservation group hoping to put a halt to mining operations until more study of its environmental impact can be done.

The Defenders sued Harvard trying to block the city's deal to allow mining by Meyer Material Co. the suit claimed, among other things, that the city did not adhere to a state requirement that it consult with the DNR before allowing mining operations.

In particular, the group cited concerns about the mining's impact on the Blanding's turtle and slippershell mussel, two threatened species found on the site. Questions also surfaced over how the work would affect the nearby Becks Woods and Piscasaw Creek nature areas.


Two admitted to Capital Bar: McHenry County's contingent of the elite prosecutors authorized by the state to try death penalty cases is growing.

The Illinois Supreme Court's Capital Litigation Bar recently admitted Assistant McHenry County State's Attorneys Demetrios Tsilimigras and David Johnston to its ranks.

The Bar was created by the Supreme Court in 2001 to ensure that attorneys taking on death penalty cases have the competency and ethics to do so. In order to win admission, candidates must pass through a vetting process in which a state board reviews their qualifications and interviews opposing lawyers and judges.

Tsilimigras and Johnston are the fifth and sixth members of the McHenry County State's Attorney's office admitted to the Capital Litigation Bar.

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