An Illinois Appellate Court has upheld a Will County judge’s decision to silence Drew Peterson’s former attorney. It comes after a WGN Investigates report in May which Joel Brodsky said he was considering “finally revealing what happened” to one or both of Peterson’s wives.
“There is no denial of what Brodsky said in the WGN News interview,” Justice John Hauptman wrote in the appellate court’s unanimous decision. “Brodsky could not be allowed to so brazenly threaten to disseminate, to the public, the contents of the privileged communications at issue in this case,” the ruling stated.
Drew Peterson was convicted of the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio and is the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy.
“I know everything about both of his wives – everything,” Brodsky said in the WGN Investigates interview. “I feel bad about Drew still not taking responsibility and Stacy still being missing. I’m thinking about maybe revealing what happened to Stacy and where she is.”
Following the WGN broadcast, Will County prosecutors rushed to court to seek a gag order arguing any public statements could prejudice a potential trial if Peterson’s longshot appeal is granted.
Stacy Peterson’s relatives questioned Brodsky’s sincerity. “If it’s weighing on your conscience that much – you can see the pain in my eyes, it kills me every day – so give it up,” Stacy’s sister Cassandra Cales said in May. “Why do I still have to be the victim here? Me and my family and her kids want to know where is my sister and what happened? He’s got to be out for something — whether it’s money or fame or just to be in the spotlight.”
In upholding the gag order, the Appellate Court wrote: “Few people in the history of Illinois jurisprudence have achieved Drew Peterson’s level of notoriety. We find it nearly inconceivable that any revelation about Stacy would not taint the jury pool should Peterson receive a new trial.
The Appellate Court sided with many legal observers who were appalled Brodsky would threaten to break attorney-client privilege. The Appellate Court appeared to agree. “The attorney-client privilege is indeed a bedrock of our justice system,” the ruling stated.
Brodsky was suspended from practicing law for conduct in an unrelated case. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the gag order being upheld.