(CNSNews.com) — A government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, is suing the Justice Department and State Department for extradition records of illegal alien Saul Chavez, who ran over and killed a U.S. citizen in 2011 but was then released from the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and fled to Mexico. Chavez was extradited to the U.S. in December 2022.
The American killed by Chavez was William “Denny” McCann, the brother of Judicial Watch client Brian McCann.
“Denny McCann was killed by an illegal alien with a prior felony – and then that criminal was released and fled to Mexico as a result of Chicago’s lawless and deadly sanctuary policies,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a press release.
“And to make matters worse, the Biden administration is unlawfully hiding records about why it took over a decade to extradite from Mexico this murderous criminal,” Fitton added.
In the lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on March 15, 2023, it states, “In June 2011, Saul Chavez ran over and killed William ‘Denny’ McCann, brother of Judicial Watch client Brian McCann. At the time, Chavez was an unlawfully present criminal alien and had just completed a two-year term of probation for a 2009 DUI conviction.
“Chavez was charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence but was released by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office in November 2011 despite an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer. Chavez subsequently fled to Mexico, where he has been living since.”
The extradition occurred on Dec. 9, 2022. On Feb. 1, 2023, Judicial Watch sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Justice, which referred it to the FBI.
The FBI then replied that it was denying the FOIA request because releasing records “concerning a third-party individual would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, and could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
Following a FOIA request to the State Department, Judicial Watch was told it could not respond because of “unusual circumstances.” Judicial Watch was seeking extradition records and any “correspondence between the Office of the Legal Adviser and the U.S. Department of Justice, state and federal authorities in the U.S.,” as well as “copies of court records of the legal proceedings” and “committal documents, such as the extradition order, affidavit of waiver, legal briefs and hearing transcript, decision memo to the Secretary of State or to his or her Deputy, and the surrender warrant.”
Because State and DOJ denied the FOIA requests, Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit.
Back in July 2015 the brother of the victim, Brian McCann, testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in a hearing entitled, “Oversight of the Administration’s Misdirected Immigration Enforcement Policies: Examining the Impact on Public Safety and Honoring the Victims.”
“Denny was crossing Kedzie Avenue on a marked crosswalk four years ago and was violently struck by a drunk driver who dragged Denny under his car for a block in an attempt to flee before Denny died,” testified Brian McCann. “The family was notified by the Chicago Police and the killer was placed into custody and charged with aggravated DUI causing death.
“Two days later ICE issued a detainer because the young man was an illegal alien with a prior felony,” said McCann. “The family was assured by the Cook County prosecutor that the defendant would not be allowed to post bail and be released.”
He continued, “Three months later the Cook County Board passed the ordinance that effectively requires the sheriff to ignore detainers. During the intervening weeks after Denny’s violent death, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle and former mayoral candidate and Commissioner Jesus Garcia pushed for the ordinance and rammed it through on September 7, 2011. Two months later the killer made bail and absconded to Mexico.”
McCann recently said, “My family and I continue to seek justice for Denny. Now that he has been extradited from Mexico, we are one step closer. But, we still want to know: what took so long? With the help of Judicial Watch, we hope to find out.”
In its press release on the McCann case, Judicial Watch noted that in a March 2021 lawsuit against the San Francisco Sheriff’s sanctuary policy, it uncovered “that over 2,400 criminal illegal aliens were released under the department’s policy on communications with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about criminal illegal aliens in the Sheriff’s custody.”
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