The search warrant seeking evidence related to alleged sexual misconduct by former Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks should not have been disclosed, Sangamon County State's Attorney Dan Wright wrote in a court filing.
The warrant was executed by the Illinois State Police on House Speaker Michael Madigan's Capitol offices last week.
A paragraph at the bottom of the three-page warrant signed by Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Madonia on Jan. 29 includes that the "issuance and execution of this search warrant shall not be disclosed and that any such disclosure could impede the investigation being conducted and thereby interfere with the enforcement of the law."
Wright said that despite the order of non-disclosure, the Speaker's office released the search warrant as part of a Freedom of Information Act request.
Wright said that the non-disclosure order was meant to preserve the integrity of the ongoing criminal investigation and to protect the rights of any suspects and victims. ISP investigators said they repeatedly told the warrant's recipients that the order prohibited disclosure, according to the filing.
Madonia, at Wright's request, signed an order Monday placing additional documents related to the search warrant -- such as the complaint for search warrant, affidavit and related return materials -- under seal.
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House officials included the search warrant in a FOIA request returned to a Chicago Sun-Times reporter on Friday. The paper ran a story on its contents that evening.
When asked why his office responded to the FOIA request, Madigan said "this is a matter of a difference of opinion among lawyers, which I'm sure the lawyers will work through."
Wright declined to comment citing the ongoing investigation.
The search warrant was executed more than a year after the Office of the Speaker received a complaint alleging sexual harassment involving an employee and Franks.
According to the Speaker's office, an internal investigation was initiated in November 2018. By February 2019, the office determined the allegations credible. Madigan then banned Franks from entering the Capitol Complex without an escort.
After receiving additional information in March 2019, Madigan called Wright to inform him that his office had information about possible criminal conduct. Wright then advised the office to contact ISP. On Wednesday, ISP executed the search warrant.
Franks, a Democrat from Marengo, served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1999 to 2017. He was elected McHenry County Board Chairman in 2016 and is running for re-election. He has not been charged with any crimes and denies any wrongdoing.