Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Bernard
E. Drew, Judge, presiding.
JUSTICE REINHARD DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
The defendant, Ahmad Nuruddin, a/k/a David Bonner, entered a negotiated plea of guilty to the offense of residential burglary (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 19-3) and possession of burglary tools (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 38, par. 19-2) and was placed on probation for a five-year term as an addict pursuant to section 10 of the Dangerous Drug Abuse Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1983, ch. 91 1/2, par. 120.10). His probation was revoked following a hearing on a petition alleging that he committed the offenses of possession of a hypodermic syringe (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 22-50) and unlawful use of weapons by felons (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 38, par. 24-1.1(a)). Defendant was sentenced to a 10-year term of imprisonment.
The single issue raised on appeal is whether a conflict of interest arose during the probation revocation proceedings requiring reversal where one member of a law firm represented defendant and another member of the law firm informed the trial court that he had formerly prosecuted defendant when he was in the State's Attorney's office.
The facts relevant to the question presented are as follow. Attorney Robert P. Will, Jr., of the law firm of Will & Briscoe, Ltd., entered his written personnel appearance for defendant in the probation revocation proceedings and personally appeared with defendant at a status hearing on May 20, 1985. On that date, defendant waived his right to a hearing within 14 days of his arrest, and the matter was continued to June 12, 1985, for a hearing on the petition. On June 12, 1985, attorney Thomas Briscoe appeared in court, and the following colloquy took place:
"MR. STEWART [prosecutor]: People versus David Bonner, 83 CF 1639 and 85 CF 515. The defendant is present, with his attorney, Mr. Thomas Briscoe; People by Assistant State's Attorney Randall Stewart.
It comes before Your Honor today for a hearing on a petition to revoke.
MR. BRISCOE: That's correct, Judge.
Judge, the attorney of record on this case would have to be Mr. Will because I formerly prosecuted Mr. Nuruddin, also known as Mr. Bonner, when I was in the State's Attorney's office.
I believe on this particular case, at least in some stage, there is a petition to revoke, and then there's a new charge which is the substantive allegation on the petition to revoke.
Mr. Will's father is rather ill right now, Judge, and Mr. Will is at home waiting for a call from the doctor.
We would ask for a one week date.
MR. STEWART: I would indicate our witnesses were here, but Mr. Briscoe did indicate earlier that would be his motion and we sent the witnesses home. We'd have no objection to a continuance of one week.
THE COURT: So ordered. The 19th for hearing."
The hearing proceeded on June 19 with defendant represented by attorney Will. Following the presentation of evidence that on April 23, 1985, while on probation defendant was observed with a handgun in his lap by a Waukegan police officer and later found in possession of a hypodermic syringe, the trial court revoked defendant's ...