Lawyer named to probe Cook County state's attorney office

A former federal prosecutor was named Wednesday to investigate the Cook County state’s attorney’s office for wrongdoing during the aborted re-trial of a man accused of killing two Chicago police officers.

Judge Alfredo Maldonado appointed Lawrence Oliver to investigate the prosecutor’s office and a former employee who allegedly lied on the witness stand during the third trial of Jackie Wilson.

Former Assistant State’s Attorney Nicholas Trutenko in October testified he had a personal relationship with a jail informant who helped convict Wilson at a second trial in 1989 of the 1982 murders of Officers William Fahey and Richard O’Brien. O’Brien and Fahey were shot during a traffic stop by Wilson’s brother, Andrew. He died in prison in 2007. The charges against Wilson were dropped as a result of Trutenko’s testimony.

Jackie Wilson was accused of being a getaway driver. He said he had no idea his brother would shoot the officers. He also said he was forced into confessing due to police torture.

Oliver, who didn’t respond to requests for comment, can convene a special grand jury to investigate and potentially bring criminal charges against Trutenko and probe the operations of Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office for evidence of a coverup.

"Whatever investigation happens, happens," Maldonado said during a brief on-line hearing. "Now that this investigation is ongoing, this investigation goes wherever it goes."

Wilson’s lawyer, Elliott Slosar, said his client is pleased the court has found a qualified special prosecutor.

In a statement, a Foxx spokesperson said the office would cooperate with Oliver.

Wilson has filed a federal lawsuit against city officials and Cook County prosecutors, claiming he was tortured into making a false confession for the 1982 murder of two police officers. He spent 36 years in prison.