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Defense want Alvarez bumped from police torture lawsuit

Updated: November 14, 2012 5:52PM

Lawyers for two prisoners who filed a class-action lawsuit because their convictions rested largely on statements allegedly obtained through police torture say the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office has a conflict of interest in the case.

Former State’s Attorney Dick Devine once represented former Chicago Police Lt. Jon Burge in private practice, the lawyers said Wednesday, and he was previously found to have a conflict of interest in the Burge scandal. Lawyers for Johnnie Plummer and Vincent Wade said Wednesday that conflict should extend to current State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez, who worked for Devine.

Plummer and Wade, who are represented by lawyers from the People’s Law Office and the MacArthur Justice Center, claim they were coerced into confessions by cops working for Burge.

Assistant State’s Attorney Celeste Stack said the office wants time to look into the matter.

“We want the right thing done with them,” Stack said.

A Cook County judge gave the State’s Attorney’s office until Dec. 18 to explain whether it has a conflict. The lawyers are all expected back in court Jan. 15.

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