Former prosecutor charged with threatening state reps

Chronicle Media

A former DuPage County prosecutor has been charged with threatening two state lawmakers on social media. 

Samuel Cundari, 30, faces a federal charge of transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure another person. 

The federal complaint alleges that on March 17, two state representatives contacted the Illinois State Police about a threat that they had received on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the social media post stated, “Our patience grows short with you, The day we put your kids feet first into a woodchipper, so we can enjoy their last few screams is coming.” 

Besides the two state representatives, five other individuals or groups were “tagged” with the post to include the Illinois attorney general. 

As a result, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Springfield Division began a probe. 

The complaint further alleges that on May 15, the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center received an online tip regarding a post on X that seemed to be in response to an advertisement about the Springfield PrideFest on May 18. In the post, it states, “I sure hope NOBODY leaves a pressure cooker filled with ball bearings, glass, and nails, filled with diesel fuel and fertilizer, with the over pressure safety valve disabled, near a natural gas line. That would be VERY sad and VERY unfortunate.” 

Law enforcement traced the two social media posts to Cundari, who used the internet to communicate the threats, according to federal officials. 

At the time the posts were made, Cundari was an assistant state’s attorney in DuPage County. 

If convicted of communicating an interstate threat, Cundari faces a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment. The charge also carries up to three years of supervised release and a possible fine of up to $250,000. 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Springfield Field Office led the investigation with assistance from the FBI Chicago and FBI Indianapolis field offices, Illinois Secretary of State Police, Illinois State Police, Springfield and Pierceton (Ind.) police departments, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Investigations Unit, and the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office. 

Cudari’s estimated 2024 salary was listed at $84,975, according to a listing of DuPage County employees from Revize websites. 

Cundari was previously with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, according to the DuPage County Bar Association, which Cundari joined in 2023. 

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin did not issue any statement on the case, noting it was not his office’s investigation and that his office only assisted in the case.

Paul Darrah, a spokesperson for the State’s Attorney’s Office, said that Cundari was immediately terminated once Berlin became aware of the allegations. Cundari did not appear in court on behalf of the state after the State’s Attorney’s Office became aware of the allegations, Darrah said.