Anthony Becknek joined Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins Ltd. in 2019 after significant roles in both the city of Chicago’s government and as a Senior Associate Litigation Attorney at a Chicago-area law firm. Anthony has extensive experience handling a wide array of complex litigation matters and internal and external investigations for government entities and municipalities.
Anthony concentrates his practice on representing a wide array of municipal entities and their employees from pre-litigation matters through trial and appeal in federal and state courts regarding alleged police misconduct, constitutional and civil rights, torts, personal injury, class action, employment and other complex and municipal litigation matters.
With respect to police misconduct litigation, Anthony represents municipalities and officers in the defense of claims of excessive force, wrongful death, false arrest, illegal search and seizure, coerced confession, malicious prosecution, conspiracy, failure to intervene, deliberate indifference, negligence, willful and wanton conduct and other Constitutional and state law claims stemming from incidents of police involved shootings, uses of force, arrests, police pursuits, search warrant execution and other municipal action. Anthony also represents municipalities in the defense of their policy, custom and practice claims, known as Monell claims. He counsels municipal entities and first responders on policing topics, including the training of police officers, command staff and administrative personnel on Civil Rights updates as well as on topics regarding labor, employment and administrative issues.
In addition, Anthony also represents municipalities and their Police and Fire Command Staff in administrative litigation, such as the investigation and discipline of police and fire officials and employees. He conducts internal investigations, interrogates those charged or alleged to have committed administrative misconduct and conducts arbitrations and hearings before Police and Fire Boards related to administrative discipline, including potential termination.
Prior to joining the firm, Anthony served as the Supervising Investigator of the Special Investigations Unit of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability for the City of Chicago. He performed and oversaw a wide array of investigations regarding complicated and multi-layered officer-involved deadly force incidents and shootings, as well as investigations of false arrest, excessive force, perjury, officer-involved traffic pursuit fatalities and even allegations of corruption, coercion and allegations stemming from overturned criminal convictions. Anthony lead a team of attorney-investigators who conducted investigative interviews and interrogations of accused and witness officers, complainants, witnesses, medical treating physicians, Chicago Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation subject-matter experts, Assistant State’s Attorneys, judges and others. He investigated, cooperated and conducted some investigations parallel to the FBI and US Attorneys from the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Unit. Anthony also reported to, investigated and oversaw scene response regarding officer-involved shootings and fatal, police-involved traffic pursuits in Chicago. Anthony has extensive experience with voluminous pattern and practice investigations of policing entities, as well as the defense of Monell claims against municipalities. He was an authorized Lead Homicide Investigator approved by the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board.
Anthony was also formerly a Senior Associate Litigation Attorney at the law firm of Hervas, Condon & Bersani, PC. While at the firm, he defended and litigated hundreds of allegations against municipal entities and their employees including claims of wrongful death, officer-involved shooting deadly force, other excessive force claims, fatal and serious bodily harm involving officer-involved traffic pursuits, medical deliberate indifference, false arrest, illegal search and seizure, malicious prosecution and other allegations. Anthony also defended municipal entities in employment, torts, personal injury, class action and other complex litigation, as well as other constitutional litigation involving allegations of violations of the Equal Protection Clause, Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, First Amendment, Fifth Amendment and other constitutional and civil rights allegations. Anthony also counseled municipal entities and specifically police departments, correctional institutions, police administration, police officers and correctional officials on issues related to police and correctional litigation and employment issues. Anthony has been involved in all stages of litigation, including multiple appeals to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Anthony is an impassioned litigator who dedicates much of his practice to representing first responders and municipal employees and leadership. He is honored to represent, and at times investigate, those who protect and serve our communities. Anthony lives in Chicago with his wife, Sarah, and son, Beau, whom he loves teaching about the greatness of the one and only Chicago Bears.
- Anthony is a past member of the American Bar Association and is a current member of the Illinois State Bar Association and Chicago Bar Association, as well as the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association.
- Anthony serves on the Chicago Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Committee and was formerly co-chair of the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyer’s Division Civil Rights Committee.
- He was formerly the President of the Michigan State University College of Law Alumni Board of Directors.
- Anthony volunteers his time to several charitable and educational institutions. He continues to be actively involved in the Michigan State University College of Law community, serving formerly as President and Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Alumni Association, as well as volunteering to mentor young law students and engage in charitable and fundraising efforts on behalf of the Law School.
- Similarly, Anthony is engaged with the community service and mentorship component of DePaul University, where he participates actively with student engagement, career enhancement and student outreach, and consistently mentors and communicates with students looking for a career in law, law enforcement or investigations.
- Anthony has also volunteered his time as a Pro Bono attorney for the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Corporation, as well as the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing. He has successfully defended clients in cases involving public benefits, housing and landlord-tenant issues.
- Anthony has also volunteered significantly for the Chicago Bar Association in a pro bono role with respect to their programs designed to help first-responders, such as “Wills for Heroes.” In addition, Anthony has served as the Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section’s Legislative Liaison.
- Anthony has previously been on the Young Professionals Board for Legal Aid Chicago, formerly the Legal Assistance Foundation, as well as served on the Young Professionals Board for the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
- Anthony has presented to municipal entities regarding police litigation, civil rights and employment issues including the Illinois Local Government Lawyers Association Conference, Illinois Sheriff’s Association Annual Conference and Chief Jail Administrator Annual Conference.
- Anthony has also served as moderator and presenter in several high-profile conferences involving the intersection between civil rights and police or constitutional litigation, including the Chicago Bar Association “Panel on Civil Rights and Police Litigation from a Practical and Social Justice Perspective,” as well as other like conferences involving constitutional issues.
Anthony has represented the following municipal entities, among several others, either in representation of the City or Village, or its officers, deputies, correctional officers, employees or command staff in litigation or administrative matters in his nearly ten-year career:
- The City of Chicago
- The City of Schaumburg
- The Village of Orland Park
- The Village of Wheeling
- The Village of Maywood
- The Village of Lombard
- The City of Harvey
- The Village of Markham
- The City of Oak Forest
- The Village of Clarendon Hills
- The City of Mendota
- The Village of Mount Prospect
- The Village of Melrose Park
- The City of Joliet
- The City of Peoria
- The City of Romeoville
- The City of Rock Island
- The City of Park Ridge
- The Village of Burnham
- The Village of Oswego
- The Village of North Chicago
- The Village of Itasca
- The City of Kankakee
- DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department
- Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department
- Livingston County Sheriff’s Department
- Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department
- Vermilion County Sheriff’s Department
Through such representation, Anthony has been involved in the review of municipal task forces, such as the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force (NORTAF); the South Suburban Emergency Response Team (SSERT); the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, as well as several others.