Local Attorney Wins Legal Victory

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For the past couple of years, attorney John Eagen has prepared for his day court, not for a client, but rather himself facing 10 counts of grand theft.

"The county and I had differences of opinion as to the reasonableness of my fees," said John Eagen.

Questions about his billing practices prompted an investigation by the Sheriff's Office. Then in November 2003 he was arrested. Eagen says his life was taken away.

"I've lost my office, my marriage, I've lost numerous clients, I've lost a number of things."

Time passed and this Friday a jury was seated. Monday, Eagen showed up ready to begin trial, but much to his surprise the state attorney dropped all the charges against him.

"This is a big decision made by the state attorney and this is the right decision," said Eagen's attorney, Robert Harper.

The prosecutor in the case says although this move was taken, he says Eagen is still at fault.

"I am still convinced John Eagen committed these crimes, but due to problems with some of the evidence, I did not feel I could take it to a jury and get a conviction. Earlier the judge threw out evidence seized during a search of Eagan's office and we found out Friday that we could not access some key evidence that had been damaged in a DCF warehouse."

Now Eagen and his attorneys are just glad they can put the case behind them.

"I can look forward to making Christmas cookies rather than worrying about being on trial," Eagen said with a big grin on his face.

Though legally blind, there's one thing Eagen sees clearly. In his eyes, this is a major victory.