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Judge drops weapons charges against steel heir James B. Finkl

James B. Finkl Finkl Enterprises. | Courtesy Finkl Enterprises

James B. Finkl of Finkl Enterprises. | Courtesy Finkl Enterprises

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Updated: December 2, 2013 12:06PM

A Cook County judge dismissed 40 misdemeanor weapons charges Wednesday against Chicago steel-company heir James B. Finkl because lawyers for the city of Chicago didn’t pursue the case until the statute of limitations had long expired.

But the Chicago Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division continues to investigate the May 18, 2010, gun raid on Finkl’s River North mansion and why a criminal case wasn’t filed against Finkl until earlier this year.

City lawyers reinstated the charges against Finkl in February, following an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times.

But that was too late, Cook County Judge Clarence L. Burch ruled, agreeing with Finkl’s lawyers that the deadline to file those charges expired about two years ago.

“We’re disappointed with the decision to dismiss the case, and we’re exploring all available options,” city law department spokesman Roderick Drew said.

Finkl, 50, and his attorneys declined to comment as they left misdemeanor court on the West Side.

Finkl’s family formerly owned the A. Finkl & Sons Co. steel business on the Near North Side. Finkl is now chairman of Shadow 300, a security company that employs current and former Chicago police officers, according to its website.

The weapons case stemmed from a police raid in which 36 guns — including four assault rifles — were seized from Finkl’s home.

The charges that the judge threw out Wednesday had accused Finkl of possessing unregistered guns and ammunition within the city limits.

He had a scheduled court appearance in July 2010, but, “for reasons unknown, the case was not filed with the Cook County Circuit Court Clerk,” the city’s lawyers said in court filings.

Finkl formerly was partners in a private security firm with Daniel Shields, a Chicago cop whose brother Michael Shields is now president of the union representing rank-and-file officers in Chicago, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 7.

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