Des Plaines alderman files motion to overturn trespassing conviction
Des Plaines Alderman Dick Sayad has hired a Park Ridge criminal defense attorney to try to convince a judge to overturn the guilty verdict in the alderman's criminal trespassing case.
Attorney Laura Morask's filing of two motions this week -- one seeking to have the verdict overturned and the other to reduce the sentence of 18 months of supervision -- comes three weeks after Sayad said he wouldn't appeal the verdict on the advice of his then-attorney James Tatooles.
"We're exploring everything and I do think that based on from at least what I've read or seen, I'm not sure all the evidence was presented that there was no criminal intent," Morask said Friday.
Sayad, a 12-year alderman re-elected in April, said Tatooles is a "fine attorney," but he doesn't specialize in appeals, which is why Sayad decided to hire Morask. He also said there is new evidence in the case.
Cook County Judge Michael Hood ruled June 16 that Sayad was guilty of misdemeanor criminal trespass for walking into a resident's house unannounced in February. Sayad testified that he walked up a flight of stairs to what he believed was a second-floor apartment.
Filing a motion to overturn the guilty verdict could be the first step in getting a higher court to consider the case. Tatooles said June 25 that he believed the judge's sentence was fair because he didn't place a conviction upon Sayad. That's a legal distinction allowing Sayad to expunge the case from his record in 18 months if he doesn't break any laws in that time.
Morask didn't specifically say Friday why she thought Sayad might have a case, but she did say, "I don't really take cases I don't believe in."
A court status date is set for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Skokie courthouse.