Cook County attorney charged with sex misconduct

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The lead prosecutor in Cook County is being charged with sexual misconduct for an alleged inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

County Attorney Tim Scannell has been indicted on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The charges were announced Thursday after a nearly seven-month investigation by former U.S. Attorney Thomas Heffelfinger, who was appointed to review the case.

The relationship between Scannell and the girl came to light when the girl’s family sought a restraining order last year. The girl’s parents said Scannell told them he loved the teen and was having a physical relationship involving “kissing and touching, but nothing illegal.”

Scannell’s attorney, Richard Swanson, says Scannell acted inappropriately but not criminally. He says Scannell is suffering from PTSD and depression since a courthouse shooting left him wounded.

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