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Harold revives statewide grand jury idea

Friday, Jul 27, 2018

* Tribune

Erika Harold, the Republican candidate for attorney general, is backing an oft-proposed but never-enacted concept of allowing the state’s top legal officer to call for statewide grand juries to prosecute crimes. […]

“I also would be calling upon the General Assembly to give additional investigative tools to the office to be able to be more proactive,” Harold said. “Like the ability to issue subpoenas and convene statewide grand juries. People deserve an attorney general that will be independent, reform-minded and will hold both parties accountable.”

The idea of statewide grand juries to prosecute multi-county crimes, led by the attorney general, has been floated by candidates for the office for decades. Currently, the attorney general must refer prosecutions to local state’s attorneys.

But the concept has failed to gain much support as politicians fear that granting prosecutorial powers could lead to an attorney general using it to go after political enemies.

* Harold has been on a statewide “listening tour” this month and has received a ton of positive local press. WGEM TV

She said one of her big issues that she’s campaigning on is the opioid epidemic.

“In 2016 alone nearly two thousand Illinoisans died as a result of opioid related overdoes,” said Harold, “I’m trying to figure out how can Illinois better use it’s scare resources and leverage it’s expertise in terms of being able to get ahead of that.”

Harold, a former Miss America winner, also commented on the potential removal of the swimsuit aspect of the Miss America competition and said regardless of the changes, she hopes the contest remains focused on the scholarship programs and benefits for young women.

Harold also commented on wanting to continue her work against bullying and cyberbullying, issues she spoke about during her time as Miss America.

* Quincy Herald Whig

Adams County State’s Attorney Gary Farha was among more than two dozen people who gathered to visit with the fellow Republican.

“I met Erika several months ago when she was in Quincy,” Farha said. “I think she’s got great poise, and her views are in sync with our community. Even more than the governor’s position, I think the attorney general position is something that’s very vital for Western Illinois.”

Farha said having Harold as the top lawyer in the state would provide a realistic check and balance on the political system.

Harold said that during her campaign swings, she looks for “innovative programs that should be replicated” across the state. In Quincy, she liked some of the efforts to combat truancy in the public schools and efforts to help the homeless — such as the tiny-home effort for homeless veterans.

* Dispatch-Argus

“I think people are engaged in the fact that for the first time in 16 years, Illinois will have a new attorney general,” Harold said. “This seemed like a great opportunity to go to the communities and say, ‘This is what the attorney general can do.’”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:05 am:

    –The idea of statewide grand juries to prosecute multi-county crimes, led by the attorney general, has been floated by candidates for the office for decades. –

    Standard AG candidate boilerplate. Curiously, a lot of people who should know better think an AG can already do those things.

    Once you float the idea, you can then talk about what a corruption and crime-buster you’re going to be, after you have the tools.

    Let me know when an Illinois GA and governor will give an ambitious politician the statutory authority, approps., and staff to go hunting for politician pelts to put on the wall.

  2. - Annonin' - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:08 am:

    Perhaps opioid push could il rx makers and distributors

  3. - MOON - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:09 am:


    Agree 100% with your comments.

  4. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    Destroying the rule of law to own the libs

  5. - Roman - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:17 am:

    ==Perhaps opioid push could il rx makers and distributors==

    Actually, a statewide grand jury (run by the AG) can be convened under current law for drug conspiracy cases. It has to be authorized by the Supreme Court. I don’t know if it’s ever happened.

  6. - get real - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    I wish someone would ask her if she would vote for Trump today. My strong impression was she didn’t support him in ‘16. But it’s a fair question.

  7. - Texas Red - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    agree with Word - MJM and his machine make for a potentially target rich environment

  8. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:31 am:

    We don’t need the AG to duplicate or interfere with the work of county prosecutors or U.S. district attorneys. There is enough on the AG’s plate already.

  9. - the Patriot - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    “We don’t need the AG to duplicate”

    have you heard of Chicago? Less than 70% of the murders in Chicago never have an arrest much less prosecution. It is fairly obvious law enforcement and prosecutors lack the will and/or ability to resolve this issue.

    Somewhat due to the people running Chicago clearly know that entitlements are more important than crime when it comes to re-election.

    The only way it gets fixed is the state or the Feds intervening.

  10. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:42 am:

    @the Patriot - Yes I have heard of Chicago. It is located exclusively within Cook County.

    Thus, Harold’s proposal for a statewide grand jury to prosecute multi-county crimes wouldn’t really do anything to improve the system when it comes to Chicago homicides

  11. - Put the fun in unfunded - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    @hisgirlfriday No, Chicago is located in DuPage County also. Nonetheless, prosecutions should remain with the local jurisdictions.

  12. - LXB - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Not that many murders taking place on the O’Hare runways.

  13. - Jibba - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 11:06 am:

    Bullying and tiny homes for vets? Sounds like small ball for an AG. More like a state legislator, a position that fits her qualifications more than being the top lawyer in the state.

  14. - wordslinger - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    –agree with Word - MJM and his machine make for a potentially target rich environment–

    You’re so clever, puttin’ words in my mouth.

    Just not clever enough to produce any compelling or informed comments on your own.

  15. - Anonymous - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 11:29 am:

    Candidate Jim Ryan, then AG Jim Ryan pushed for these broader powers and was opposed by his former State’s Attorney colleagues. Even the normally DuPage centric Pate Philip opposed the AG power grab. The Con Con folks had it right. Erika should stick to her lane.

  16. - the Patriot - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 11:41 am:

    the idea is that much of the crime, drugs, gangs, guns don’t originate in Cook County. We are constantly reminded of this every time Chicago tries to shove another gun law down our throats.

    Practically I would not limit to cross county line issues where the locals fail to deal with obvious crime.

  17. - DarkHorse - Friday, Jul 27, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    The proposal is less interesting than Rich’s observation that Harold’s listening tour is generating a ton of positive press. Does she have a chance to pull off an upset?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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