Since April, former Save-A-Life Foundation temp employee turned whistleblower Annabel Melongo has been incarcerated in Cook County Jail. Her offense? According to Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez, Melongo uploaded recordings of two benign phone conversations with an employee at the clerk of court's office. For this alleged crime against the State of Illinois, Melongo was jailed with a bail of $500,000, later reduced to $300,000.
To those who may question such a steep bond for this minor offense, Prosecutor Alvarez has had Melongo in her sights since October 2006, when she was arrested for allegedly destroying Save-A-Life's computer system.
Those charges originated from Save-A-Life founder/president Carol J. Spizzirri.
Just a few months later, Spizzirri and her foundation would the subject of this, the first of four ABC Chicago exposes by I-Team reporter Chuck Goudie. When asked to provide supporting evidence for a string of claims - that she was a Registered Nurse who specialized in kidney transplants, that she had a four-year college degree, that her daughter had died in a hit-and-run and bled to death because first responders were improperly trained - Spizzirri stormed off-camera.
Since then, Spizzirri and her operation have been the subject of dozens more exposes and reportedly Save-A-Life is now under investigation by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
In July, Melongo's attorney filed a motion to dismiss claiming that the arresting police detective committed "fraud and perjury" in his testimony to the grand jury that indicted Melongo.
Prosecutor Alvarez is wither unaware or unmoved by those facts or that, according to a recent affidavit, her star witness was diagnosed by a court-ordered psychologist as a "paranoid schizophrenic, pathological liar, and chronic child abuser."
Melongo doesn't have much of a public voice except for a few bloggers who've written about her case. Although plenty of Chicago reporters are aware of the situation, it's been completely ignored by mainstream news outlets.
Meanwhile her website, IllinoisCorruption.net, has gone dark since her jailing. Presumably when the bill to pay her server fee came due, she was otherwise occupied, spending her days and nights in a cell. Click here for screenshots of the home page that includes a useful case summary. Case documents that had been posted on Melongo's site are available on request via e-mail.
10/27/10 Defendant's motion to reconsider court's ruling re: eavesdropping charges (granted)