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Man who threatened Rauner gets misdemeanor charge, receives probation

Tuesday, Aug 30, 2016

* I sure hope the prosecutors know what they’re doing on this one

A 31-year-old Elgin man accused of making a death threat to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in May has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge and was sentenced to two years of probation and six months wearing an alcohol-monitoring device.

Jesse Kuzma, of the 1100 block of West Highland Avenue, pleaded guilty Friday to attempt to threaten a public official, a misdemeanor, according to Kane County court records.

In addition to the probation and 180 days wearing the alcohol device, Kuzma was ordered to pay $1,840 in fines and fees.

Kane County Judge James Hallock accepted the plea, in which prosecutors reduced the original charge of felony threatening a public official, which had a punishment range of probation to up to five years in prison, records show.

* Background

Kane County prosecutors allege Kuzma called the Governor’s Office of Constituent Affairs around 11 p.m. May 7 and left a message stating, “If I ever see you, consider this your death threat.” Illinois State Police investigated the call and arrested Kuzma a few days later.

The political environment in this state is so toxic and so heavily ginned up by all sides, I’m just thankful that we haven’t seen more of this stuff.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Ghost - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    It suggests we may need a better mental health outreach system as well. I dont mean social service funding; we need a better way to connect to people with mental health issues. might help with violence and some of these unfrotunate attacks on large grps of people as well.


  2. - The Fool On The Hill - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    =we may need a better mental health…system=
    Unfortunately, Rauner cut all the funding.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    I sincerely hope that the safety of all the elected officials are taken into consideration when decisions like thus occur.

    No elected official should ha veto worry about facing harm. That’s not democracy, that’s also not as a state and society we all need to take lightly.


  4. - Responsa - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    The 180 days wearing an alcohol monitoring device is interesting and weird. Are they saying that being under the influence of alcohol was the underlying cause of his threat, but yet assume that after 180 days he will have learned his lesson and they will be able trust him to stay sober and not threaten government officials?


  5. - JoeMaddon - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    **Are they saying that being under the influence of alcohol was the underlying cause of his threat, but yet assume that after 180 days he will have learned his lesson and they will be able trust him to stay sober and not threaten government officials?**

    That’s not really how the criminal justice system works.


  6. - Responsa - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:22 am:

    Joe Madden-

    Since apparently you know “how the criminal justice system works” perhaps you’d be willing to explain, then, what the reduced charge, probation and monitoring device accomplishes with respect to preventing Mr. Kuzma and discouraging others from threatening the lives of elected officials? Thanks.


  7. - Mr. Smith - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    I am not disagreeing with you at all, Rich. No one should be subjected to such threats in the course of performing their duties.

    But I think that nationally, we need to inject some sanity back into public discourse. When political figures make outrageous statements in the press and on Twitter, and face no real consequences for it, it only encourages the people that hear that sort of comment as “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” That is obviously an extreme example - but it is not exactly far-fetched, given the vitriol that people seem to feel free to fling (at least verbally) these days.


  8. - walker - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 11:47 am:

    ==”heavily ginned up”==


  9. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 12:17 pm:

    No drinks for you.


  10. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 2:05 pm:

    How come the media never talks about all the people who regularly abuse alcohol and don’t threaten public officials? HUH???

    – MrJM


  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 2:10 pm:

    IL needs accessible & affordable mental health centers. ‘Mental health issues’ require care by a doctor & meds.. Plus IL needs accessible & affordable rehab treatment center for alcoholics. Choosing not properly funding those 2 necessary programs is a huge mistake by the governor’s office.


  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 3:24 pm:

    Woulda been helpful if the story had included explanations from the State AND the Defense as to why the chatge was reduced, and why the accused accepted a deal. Without facts, we’re left to such speculation as whether for the felony version of this is that the comment has to be received by the public official. For otherwise, if the guy committed a crime, it was Disorderly Conduct?


  13. - The Fool On The Hill - Tuesday, Aug 30, 16 @ 4:09 pm:

    In Kane County, attorneys hate going to court.


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 31, 16 @ 12:49 am:

    I agree 100% with you, Mr. Rauner is lucky there hasn’t been more of this considering the draconian cuts in municipal, city, county government.

    From reduce mental health and drug treatment capacity, to reductions in child care, failure to fund long term care, public health and more.

    What many people find most offensive, an individual like Rauner using their obscene personal wealth to buy change.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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