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Prosecutors looking into charges against DCFS supervisor in AJ Freund case

File Photo | Andrew Freund (undated photo).

Prosecutors are looking into filing charges against a DCFS supervisor for his handling in the case of 5-year-old Crystal Lake boy Andrew Freund Jr., who was murdered in 2019.

The Northwest Herald obtained a search warrant affidavit filed on May 7 by McHenry County State’s Attorney investigator Robert Diviacchi.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office petitioned the court to impound the affidavit early Thursday morning after it had been released to the Northwest Herald. The affidavit has been impounded and can no longer be publicly released.

The search warrant was seeking the complete personnel file, training transcripts and employee evaluations of former Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) supervisor Andrew Polovin, the Northwest Herald reported.

“From the Inspector General’s report, it is indicated that Mr. Polovin’s lack of supervisory oversight was willful and [wanton], given the nature of the injury, the explanations that had been given and rejected by police and unsupported by medical examination …” Diviacchi said in the affidavit.

The paper said that prosecutors are exploring their options when it comes to filing aggravated child endangerment charges.

In December 2018, Crystal Lake police contacted DCFS, who opened an investigation into abuse allegations against AJ Freund’s mother, JoAnn Cunningham, after officers found AJ to have suspicious bruising.

Polovin was the supervisor of caseworker Carlos Acosta, who was assigned to the case. They closed the case after attributing the bruising to the family dog, despite AJ telling an emergency room doctor, “Maybe someone hit me with a belt. Maybe mommy didn’t mean to hurt me.”

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A federal lawsuit was filed on October 16 alleging that Acosta, who is also a McHenry County Board Member, and Polovin conducted ‘sham investigations’ and falsified reports despite clear signs that AJ was being abused before his death.

The lawsuit alleged Acosta falsified the Child Endangerment Risk Assessment Protocol and indicated that AJ’s bruise was caused by a dog, despite obvious inconsistencies with the story.

“Defendants Acosta and Polovin, ignoring DCFS Procedures and the Prime Directive of ANCRA, returned AJ right back into the claws of his abusers, who were further emboldened by the Defendants’ indifference to gear up their infliction of horrific physical and mental abuse and torture, culminating in AJ’s murder on April 15, 2019,” Attorney Peter J. Flowers said in the lawsuit at the time.

Polovin and Acosta were later fired in December by DCFS.

AJ’s parents, Andrew Freund Sr. and JoAnn Cunningham, were both charged with first-degree murder on April 24, 2019 after an almost week-long search for the child. Police found the young boy’s body buried in a shallow grave in a field near Woodstock.

Cunningham pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and will be sentenced on July 16. She faces between 20 and 60 years in prison. Andrew Freund Sr., who pleaded not guilty, is scheduled to appear in court on June 18.


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