Trucker not guilty in case involving McHenry Co. judge

 
 
Published: 12/23/2008 5:17 PM

A Cary businessman who unloaded his dump truck to avoid a police-ordered weight check was found not guilty of felony obstructing justice Tuesday in a case that has raised questions about the conduct of a McHenry County judge.

David W. Miller, 51, sped away from a June 16, 2007, traffic stop and unloaded his truck in a lot outside his business, Lake Julian Contracting, after an officer told him to report to a nearby weigh station. Last week, he testified that he thought the weight check was a "waste of time" and an example of police targeting truckers for revenue. "I didn't think I was doing anything illegal," he said.

On Tuesday, Miller was found guilty of illegal dumping, a business offense, and not guilty of obstructing justice. He was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and court costs, according to the state's attorney's office, which maintained he was guilty of both crimes.

The case drew widespread attention after McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel was accused in a judicial complaint of having a special Saturday afternoon bond court call to get Miller out of jail early as a favor to Miller's brother, Algonquin Township Highway Commissioner Bob Miller. That matter is pending before the Illinois Courts Commission, which has the authority to remove Chmiel from the bench if he is found guilty.

David Miller's case was heard by Judge Michael Feetterer, who is not connected to the ethics investigation.