Investigator’s lawsuit alleges ‘swift boat’ plot to undermine Northwestern Innocence Project

A private investigator at the center of one of the most controversial murder cases in Illinois history is doubling down on allegations that a cabal of pro-police lawyers and advocates conspired to torpedo efforts by former Northwestern University professor David Protess to expose wrongful convictions.

Paul Ciolino, who obtained Alstory Simon’s sensational confession to a 1982 double murder that led to the exoneration of death row inmate Anthony Porter, filed a defamation lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court alleging his reputation and career were destroyed by the “swift boat” plot to undermine Protess’ work.

The 66-page complaint largely mirrors a counterclaim filed by Ciolino in 2016 in an ongoing federal lawsuit filed by Simon. The counterclaim was thrown out last year by a federal judge who ruled Ciolino’s allegations were too tangential to the underlying case.

The lawsuit filed this week, however, contains details about the alleged conspiracy to attack Protess, including allegations

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