Press release from the Center on Wrongful Convictions:
It’s hard to imagine anything more perverse: Two Lake County, Illinois, law enforcement officials involved in the false-confession cases of Juan Rivera and Jerry Hobbs have been teaching state-mandated courses required for state certification of lead homicide investigators.
Journalist Dan Hinkel discloses the situation in this morning’s Chicago Tribune:
State Senator William Haine, a former prosecutor who pushed for the certification program, told the Tribune he was “shocked” to learn that the two Lake County officials — Lou Tessmann and Jeffrey Pavletic — were teaching the course.
Tessmann and Pavletic, in Haine’s words, “have more baggage than a Greyhound bus.”
Steve Drizin, legal director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, said the courses taught by Tessmann and Pavletic threaten to spread Lake County’s flawed investigative practices throughout the state “like a virus.”
Lake County may be an extreme example, but Tessmann and Pavletic are hardly the only rogues who have been elevated to the status of role models for future renegades. It’s a national problem.
Rob Warden, Executive Director