Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Champaign County won’t investigate, Durkin calls for subpoenas and testimony under oath
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Champaign County won’t investigate, Durkin calls for subpoenas and testimony under oath

Thursday, Jan 9, 2020

* WBEZ

State lawmakers called for criminal probes and legislative hearings Wednesday following publication of an email written by a top ally to House Speaker Michael Madigan that praised a state worker who “kept his mouth shut” about a downstate rape. […]

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin sent a letter to the speaker Wednesday seeking special legislative hearings that could compel McClain and the former Quinn officials to testify about the case. […]

Other lawmakers and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse joined the senators’ condemnation and called for the Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate. […]

Contacted Tuesday, Rietz said she has not opened a probe into the matter.

“I do not know anything about those emails,” Rietz said in a statement. “I have not received any calls about these emails or any of the people named in them.”

So, somebody has to call her before she becomes interested in an alleged rape in her county that might possibly have been covered up by some of the most powerful people in her state?

She has barely spoken publicly about the explosive Gary Xu scandal at the U of I as well. She’s also a bit of an odd duck for a Democrat in that county

* More

As for calls that she launch an investigation, Rietz said that is the role of police.

“In Champaign County, for financial reasons, we don’t even have a grand jury. I rely on local law enforcement for the investigative role,” she said.

What?

*Sigh*

…Adding… From the end of a 2010 story about getting rid of the grand juries

Rietz said she could still request that a grand jury be convened if there was another reason, such as locking in a witness’ testimony under oath in a case under investigation.

* Well, maybe it’s back to Leader Durkin’s idea. From his letter to Speaker Madigan…

A recent investigative report from WBEZ alleges a disturbing criminal cover-up and shocking illegal activity by a State-registered lobbyist and several State of Illinois employees, either currently or previously employed by the State. The lobbyist was practicing under the Lobbyist Registration Act statute at the time of the alleged activity and the State employees were senior-level officials in a previous administration. The Illinois House of Representatives has an inherent responsibility to perform an independent inquiry into a matter of this nature.

It is a relatively routine practice for standing or special committees of the Illinois House to be convened to dig deep into allegations of misconduct related to State governance, so I respectfully request the State Government Administration Committee (“Committee”) be immediately convened to investigate the allegations from the WBEZ report. In addition to full subpoena authority that requires the testimony from the individuals below and any others deemed necessary, the testimony of the individuals called before the Committee must be under oath. At a minimum, the following individuals must be compelled to provide testimony before the Committee:

    • Michael McClain
    • Forrest Ashby
    • Jerry Stermer
    • Gary Hannig
    • Lorrie Rickman-Jones

The seriousness of the allegations requires a thorough, comprehensive investigation by the Committee. Our Illinois constituents deserve it. Please advise me of your intentions to this request.

Thoughts?

…Adding… Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Elmhurst)…

These are serious criminal offenses that need to be investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. That should be done by the states attorneys office. The comments by the Champaign County States Attorney are troubling at best. I believe Attorney General Kwame Raoul needs to take the lead. This is not a political or a partisan issue these are egregious criminal offenses.

…Adding… This was sent last night and I missed it…

Outraged by allegations brought forth by a recent WBEZ story about the possible cover up of a rape detailed in a state government email exchange, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford urged that appropriate authorities, including the Champaign County State’s Attorney, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Executive Inspector General, take immediate steps to investigate this report.

The WBEZ story referenced a 2012 email to officials in then-Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration sent by lobbyist Michael McClain that among other things makes mention of a state employee who kept quiet about “the rape in Champaign”, asking that the administration keep that individual employed by the state.

Majority Leader Lightford issued the following statement regarding this incident:

“As a woman, a mother and a survivor of sexual assault I am sickened by the idea that anyone would infer that covering up rape should ever be interpreted as a form of loyalty. This is the type of behavior that keeps women and sexual assault survivors living in fear, and it can never be tolerated. Based on the revelations in this email, I know there is someone out there reliving their nightmare and awaiting justice for their assault. I want them to know they do not to be afraid any longer and I offer them my full support, assistance and compassion.”

Lightford also called on anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact the appropriate authorities, including:

If you have information please contact:

Champaign County State’s Attorney, 217-384-3733

Illinois State Police, 217-786-7107

Illinois Executive Inspector General, 217-558-5600 or 312-814-5600

…Adding… More…


…Adding… Revised release from Majority Leader Lightford in wake of the news about Champaign County…

Any allegations involving the cover-up of sexual assault should be taken seriously and addressed without hesitation by those charged with investigating these matters, which is why I have urged the appropriate authorities, including the Illinois State Police, Illinois Executive Inspector General and the Champaign County States Attorney, to take the immediate steps and launch an investigation. And, given today’s news reports, I would like to once again ask Champaign County States Attorney, Ms. Rietz, to open an inquiry. I think the content of the email demands it.

If I am given the privilege to serve as Senate President, and simply as a woman and survivor of sexual assault, I will monitor all of this very closely. And, I will also send a very clear message that the culture of toxic masculinity in our politics will not be tolerated under my watch in the Senate. And I will take action on that front whenever the situation requires it.

…Adding… Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago)…

WBEZ reported that Mike McClain, who is directly and intricately tied to Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan, in a 2012 email, urged the administration of then-governor Quinn to grant leniency for a state worker in a disciplinary case by arguing that the state worker had kept quiet about “the rape in Champaign.” The shocking email provides additional evidence that the Madigan organization relies on people who cover up sexual misconduct. The culture of the Madigan operation is directly on Mike Madigan. For decades, Mike McLain was the ultimate insider to and for Mike Madigan.

Eight weeks ago, when news reports revealed that Madigan operatives paid off a sexual harasser, I called on Madigan to explain or resign as Chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party. Pay-offs and cover-ups are bad enough, but actively encouraging this behavior by rewarding the perpetrators is much worse.

I am renewing my demand for answers and genuine accountability from Mike Madigan, Chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

Women of the General Assembly, the Illinois Democratic Party, and the citizens of the State of Illinois need to take a stand against this culture and behavior. We deserve a full investigation and accountability.

…Adding… Rep. Terra Costa Howard…

I am sickened by the recent WBEZ report that a prominent lobbyist sent an email to high-ranking state officials, in which a rape was used as a political bargaining chip. I have spent my entire career as an attorney standing up for vulnerable people, and it makes my blood boil to think that a violent crime was covered up in the interests of “business as usual.” I know that my constituents join me in demanding a full investigation of this email and the appalling allegations it contained.

…Adding… More…


- Posted by Rich Miller        

59 Comments »
  1. - Birdseed - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 10:47 am:

    Ball is in your court, Mr. Speaker


  2. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 10:53 am:

    I was going to say it was time to prepare the engraved invitation for State’s Attorney Reitz, but it sounds like even that wouldn’t work.


  3. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 10:54 am:

    ===In Champaign County, for financial reasons, we don’t even have a grand jury.===

    There’s a story all on its own. Are you kidding me? This is where they’re cutting costs?


  4. - Andy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 10:54 am:

    I just watched the video… did she really respond to suggestions of minority representation on a jail committee with “we don’t need a token person of color”?

    That sounds awfully like white supremacist speaking.


  5. - Say What? - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 10:56 am:

    States Attorney Reitz isn’t the only “odd duck” in terms of Champaign County elected officials.

    Treasurer Laurel Prussing resigned a few days ago claiming she is “tired and needs a vacation” after one year on the job (not kidding, those are her exact words). Tax bills were months late, County accounts haven’t been reconciled in a year and a third party accounting firm has been called in to help clean up the mess. She leaves the office an unmitigated disaster.

    The County Clerk is the former convicted heroin dealer husband of Rep. Carol Aamons. He would have heretofore been ineligible to even serve in this capacity except for the two hours before leaving office sleight of hand arranged by Aamons and Prussing with Gov. Quinn’s office to pardon him without any paperwork, hearings et. al. Thank goodness he is now counting the votes.

    The new Sheriff in Champaign County is a former Mall Cop who openly admits he doesn’t know much about the office.

    Ms. Reitz is not an outlier. . . . . .


  6. - NotRich - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 10:59 am:

    If this hearing happens..don’t you think we will just get a bunch of
    “on the advise of counsel” I can’t answer that question? and also, in the wake of all these investigations, do you really think the U S Attorney would let the this happen


  7. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    == I rely on local law enforcement for the investigative role ==

    I was in a State’s Attorney’s office back in the 80. That is the way it is, at least downstate. Some offices have an investigator who helps get things ready for trial. Very few state grand juries.


  8. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    —If this hearing happens..don’t you think we will just get a bunch of
    “on the advise of counsel” I can’t answer that question?—

    Possibly. Personally, I say given the gravity of the issue, make them come in and say it.


  9. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    Even if the State Government Committee were to undertake an investigation and to issue subpoenas - not a tool any General Assembly committee has employed in a long, long time - presumably the witnesses would cite the 5th Amendment and nothing more would be learned about the matter.

    Likely, if there is anything more to be discovered, it will need to come as a result of federal processes.

    Certainly, Durkin knows this. It’s a political move on his part. Were the situations reversed, the Democrats would do the same.


  10. - yinn - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    Sad that this SA can’t even pretend to care. It might be a job for the AG’s Public Integrity Bureau, and their page says they take referrals both from SAs and law enforcement, so maybe it’ll happen. Meanwhile, Leader Durkin’s idea appeals to me for its potential as a public repudiation of misplaced loyalties, codes of silence and impunity.


  11. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    I have big feelings about all this, and it sounds like Rietz is a hot mess. But I’m not sure she’s wrong on the merits on this one. I don’t think state’s attorneys can just start investigations based on nothing more than a news report of an email from someone who wasn’t even in Champaign County. I think it makes more sense for the State to conduct an investigation.

    And in the name of all that’s holy, could somebody (McKinney, Gov’s office, Google) please release the responses to that email? Or if there was no response, please let us know — because that would tell us a lot, too.


  12. - Andy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:13 am:

    Soccermom-

    But it’s not just a news report, it’s a public record that references Champaign County. I think its worth asking the 5 people referenced some questions. Even if “the State” conducts the investigation, it’s the county prosecutor that’ll have to try it.


  13. - Nick Name - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:14 am:

    Holy shlamoley, how is she still state’s attorney after that “token person of color” comment? Well, hazarding a guess, Republicans probably flocked to her.


  14. - Roman - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    If the Champaign County SA is unwilling to do anything (which is bizarre and inexcusable) then detectives from the Champaign PD should at least pick up the phone and call the cast of characters (or their attorneys) and ask some cursory questions. There might be a semi-rational explanation that doesn’t involve the commission of a rape that wasn’t investigated or prosecuted.

    The executive inspector general should immediately open an investigation into the ghost pay rolling allegation.

    If you think Mike McClain is gonna sit down at a witness table at state capitol hearing and answer questions on this, you spent too much time in line at a cannabis shop on New Year’s Day.


  15. - Amalia - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    perhaps she is awkwardly deferring to other authorities. but if I were in her position, I would investigate!


  16. - Billy Sunday - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:19 am:

    Well, what’s the purpose for every county’s state’s attorneys in IL??? Only if you’re in Cook (or possibly Sangamon) they can open an investigation? Do the others simply handle parking tickets?


  17. - Just Me - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:21 am:

    The Republicans should just step back and let the Democrats self implode on this one, don’t make it partisan.


  18. - downstate - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:22 am:

    And, wow, you have to wonder what other emails might emanate from the mighty mike mcclain … his emails to the Pritzker Campaign urging them to hire Forrest Ashby? His emails to Ashby informing him that he has been successful negotiating his new campaign job?


  19. - Say What? - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    =Holy shlamoley, how is she still state’s attorney after that “token person of color” comment? Well, hazarding a guess, Republicans probably flocked to her.=

    No. Very much to the contrary. She is a Democrat, self identifies as such in the video, and the D’s own this and the entire lot of generally extraordinarily, shockingly weak County wide elected officials.

    Republicans most certainly aren’t flocking to any of the current cast of characters in Champaign County.


  20. - Todd Stroger Was A Victim - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:30 am:

    Champaign County Democrats doing good work.


  21. - Birdseed - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:31 am:

    === - downstate - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:22 am:

    And, wow, you have to wonder what other emails might emanate from the mighty mike mcclain ===

    Not to mention his ComEd emails which the Feds have. Sure seems like he needs to bloviate quite a bit.


  22. - Medvale - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    So you are the state’s attorney and you wake up one day and hear about a political scandal that references a rape in your county. You check your files for police reports and there is no reference to a rape.
    Should she call Mike McClain?
    Should she call Jerry Stermer or Gary Hannig?
    Should she call the police departments in Campaign, Urbana, Rantoul and other cities in Champaign to order an investigation of reference to a rape that appeared in a political insider’s email?
    Perhaps the Pritzker administration should initiate a state police investigation. If there is information that a crime occurred, it would be referred to the Champaign County State’s attorney.
    It does not seem appropriate to pile on to Julia Reitz.


  23. - DIstant watcher - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:33 am:

    But Ron Burgundy, you skipped the second part of the comment: do you really think the USAtty would let those hearings go forward?

    And I’ll add another: do you want to smoke out the USAtty on this stuff, or just let them proceed?


  24. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:34 am:

    ===please release the responses to that email?===

    The original story says there were no responses.


  25. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:35 am:

    Andy, calling it a public record is a bit much. I mean, my old state emails would be “Public Records” saying basically, “I have to get this finished. You guys go ahead and go to lunch, and I’ll try to catch up later.”

    At this point, we have no idea whether any of it was real. There’s no victim making a complaint. It all could have been rumors piled on rumors (although I doubt it.) But I don’t see how this is the Champaign SA’s problem at this point.

    Seems like the best option would be for the GA to issue subpoenas. And, as someone has already said, if everybody takes the 5th there probably won’t be much of an outcome.

    Welcome to the Prisoners’ Dilemma….


  26. - Medvale - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    To “Say What?”
    Rich usually filters out politically-targeted off-topic comments like yours. Not sure how yours got through.


  27. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    Thanks, Rich. Obviously my emotions are overwhelming my reading comprehension.


  28. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:42 am:

    -Do I think the US Attorney would let those hearings go forward?-

    Well he can’t really stop it. He can maybe communicate that they might interfere with his pending investigation and suggest they not go forward.


  29. - TominChicago - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:51 am:

    Based on the limited information so far available on this, I don’t see a federal crime that would permit the US Attorney to intervene.


  30. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    —Based on the limited information so far available on this, I don’t see a federal crime that would permit the US Attorney to intervene—

    The allegation of ghost patrolling could be a federal offense but for the US Attorney where the alleged crimes took place. Still, the DOJ doesn’t have authority to order a state legislative body to do or not do anything.


  31. - Say What? - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 11:59 am:

    =Rich usually filters out politically-targeted off-topic comments like yours. Not sure how yours got through.=

    Mine directly addressed the notion in the original post that the State’s Attorney is somehow out of step with, or an “odd duck” in relation to other Democrats in Champaign County.

    I directly suggested that they are nothing short of a hot mess, cited examples, and indicated she really isn’t much of an outlier.

    Very much on point. Thanks.


  32. - 2020 - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    2020 will be the most pivotal year in Illinois political history.


  33. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:03 pm:

    Actually, Rich, I don’t think the story specifies whether there was an email response.

    “The documents did not include any responses from Hannig or Stermer to McClain’s messages.”

    Does that mean there were no responses, or that the responses were not considered as part of the FOIA request?


  34. - Anon - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:06 pm:

    Fyi, the Attorney General cannot convene a grand jury. Instead, the AG has to ask the local state’s attorney to convene the grand jury. Except throughout downstate Illinois, there is no grand jury.


  35. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:08 pm:

    ===responses were not considered as part of the FOIA ===

    They were. And I checked and they found no responses.


  36. - Soccermom - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:13 pm:

    Okay, thanks!


  37. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:16 pm:

    === 2020 will be the most pivotal year in Illinois political history.===

    … and yet we have no idea what that even means. Ugh.

    The reality is the United State’s Attorney will be the one driving all these inquiries.

    The mental exercises to make political hay of things that will play themselves out in actual investigations is tiring.

    All I need to know is that Allen Skillicorn and Grant Wehrli are calling on resignations. It’s about the politics.

    These emails and what is being written, in a shorthand way to the recipients are seedy and ugly and deciding to insert political maneuvering under the guise “of finding the truth” is disingenuous.

    If in investigating, be it the press or the USA, we find out all the backstories here, that will be most honest.

    Ask yourself, are you more concerned about McClain’s emails due to the covering up and the damage to justice, or are you more driven in connecting dots to the politics and these emails are the means to that?

    Watch what does happen.


  38. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===Except throughout downstate Illinois, there is no grand jury===

    Not true. AG Madigan used the Adams County grand jury to look into the veterans home.


  39. - Anon y mouse - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:22 pm:

    Holding for AG Raoul.

    – “I believe Attorney General Kwame Raoul needs to take the lead. This is not a political or a partisan issue these are egregious criminal offenses.”– (Rep. Conroy-D)


  40. - seen the big picture - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:23 pm:

    They forgot a couple names on the list that should be interviewed:

    Michael McClain
    Forrest Ashby
    Jerry Stermer
    Gary Hannig
    Lorrie Rickman-Jones
    John Sullivan
    Dr. Anderson Freeman


  41. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    ===This is where they’re cutting costs? ===

    Yep. It checks out. They saved a whopping $4K per year. https://www.news-gazette.com/news/grand-juries-to-be-eliminated-in-latest-cost-cutting-effort/article_a976f13d-3f3f-54b4-be13-2bad4629e94c.html


  42. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:30 pm:

    ===They saved a whopping $4K per year.===

    Oh, well. Now I understand. Thanks. That’s enough to get a Venti coffee every morning from Starbucks.


  43. - Grand Plan - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:32 pm:

    I understand that there is not presently a grand jury. Can the State’s Attorney ask that one be formed? As to taking the 5th, the SA just has to grant immunity to one of the individuals and they would be compelled to testify I think or be held in contempt. I’m not sure what the crime that McClain has committed but if there’s one within this email, it may have gone past the statute of limitations.


  44. - Don Gerard - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:33 pm:

    During my tenure with Champaign I always felt as though the local GOP didn’t bother to run anyone against her because, like Mayor Feinen, she fools the Democrats into thinking she’s one of them while pretty much kowtowing to the white conservatives.


  45. - 19th ward guy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    RICO


  46. - 2020 - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:47 pm:

    In response to OW, my comment is more in reference to the changes that will occur. The long serving Senate Pres will not be in the GA by the end of 2020 and I suspect the Speaker will not either. The reasons why, I don’t propose to comment on, but I believe it to be true.

    With this as the backdrop for the election, the fair tax, the DNC up the road, etc., quite a pivotal year.


  47. - 2020 - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:48 pm:

    In response to OW, my comment is more in reference to the changes that will occur.

    The long serving Senate Pres will not be in the GA by the end of 2020 and I suspect the Speaker will not either. The reasons why, I don’t propose to comment on, but I believe it to be true.

    With this as the backdrop for the election, the fair tax, the DNC up the road, etc., quite a pivotal year.


  48. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:49 pm:

    And what pray tell would the General Assembly do at the end of these hearings?

    File charges? Can’t.
    Prosecute criminally? Can’t.
    Imprison? Can’t.
    Fine? Can’t.

    I get the political theater behind the press releases, but there’s a reference to a rape being covered up.

    That’s a criminal matter.

    Law enforcement needs to investigate.

    Law enforcement subpoena power carries far more consequences than GA subpoena power.


  49. - the Patriot - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:50 pm:

    Let it go. Nothing is happening to Madigan. A few calls will get made, the media will stop reporting, it will disappear. The only surprise is the self righteous indignation of the media who know they stop reporting these types of stories when People like Madigan tell them to.


  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===I suspect the Speaker will not either.===

    What are today’s lottery numbers?

    === The reasons why, I don’t propose to comment on===

    Ok.

    ===quite a pivotal year===

    Most pivotal?

    It’s January.

    We’ve impeached and removed a governor.

    We had two years without any budget(S).

    Pretty pivotal stuff.

    Again, it’s January.


  51. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 12:54 pm:

    ===when People like Madigan tell them to===

    What bizarre world do you live in? Or are you on the hard stuff?


  52. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 1:07 pm:

    ===“What’s not as easily quantifiable is what it might cost in other aspects like time in court for public defenders.”===

    Champaign County can’t afford justice?

    Look, I get it, if this was Crawford County, a better case could be made about whether or not a grand jury was necessary. But this is Champaign County. For the cost of some lunch money, they could have one of their ASAs presenting evidence to grand jurors. That doesn’t mean there would be more cases, it only means there’d be more investigating.

    It’s a stupid place to save money in a county that has both the population and the resources to empanel grand juries.

    What’s hard to quantify is how stupid this is.


  53. - CCDem - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 1:14 pm:

    To the strangely off-topic comments by @Say What? (please skip if you don’t care at all about Champaign County politics):

    Champaign County Republicans are still bitter that Dems swept all of the countywide offices up in 2018, which also included a special election for County Auditor and the first election for the newly created County Executive. This was kind of shocking because at the time the ONLY countywide democrat was Julia Rietz. So, yes, most of the newly elected dems can be called “inexperienced” because the county has been run by mostly Republicans for years. Some of the new Dems are really good fits for their jobs (County Auditor is now an actual CPA, Clerk actually helpful to getting more people to vote, Sheriff was not a “mall cop” but was a deputy Sheriff and college law enforcement instructor), Laurel perhaps not so much. (Also, interestingly, Champaign County elected TWO married gay men - Sheriff and Auditor).

    As to SA Rietz, she first won in 2004, beating a Republican opponent, largely because the local Republican party and its media sponsor, the News-Gazette, abandoned the GOP incumbent for a variety of confusing small town-type beefs. Ever since, SA Rietz has won very handily (60% plus) even when the county leaned Republican by keeping a lot of GOP voters and being good with local conservative business owners. Her husband is former law enforcement so she is also very law enforcement friendly.

    Dems continue to vote for her because, with only one nominal exception, she has not had a primary opponent and the thinking is likely, “hey, a middle of the road, law enforcement friendly Democrat, even one that will often appease establishment conservatives, is still better than an actual republican.”

    And why no dem opponent? There is a large part of the local Dems that have wanted to see one but, historically, almost all local attorneys have been Republicans or conservative Democrats (yes, even the U of I law professors) and you need to be an attorney to run. That is changing, along with the demographics of Champaign County as a whole, so SA Rietz would be well-advised that her prior go-to strategy of taking Dem votes for granted while publicly appeasing local GOP is not a great long-term strategy. However, for 2020 she has no primary opponent or even GOP opponent as of yet, and by 2024 she will have served 20 years as SA so she might not care too much about long-term strategy.

    TLDR; @Say What is wrong, SA Rietz is most assuredly an odd duck among local Champaign Democrats.


  54. - Roman - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 1:57 pm:

    For those calling for the AG’s involvement, the law greatly restricts the empaneling of a statewide grand jury. The supreme court has to authorize it, the local state’s attorney has to consent, and the proceedings have to involve crimes committed over multiple counties. The law also limits the grand jury to investigating certain offenses like terrorism, drug trafficking, and child sex crimes.

    Criminal law just isn’t something the Illinois Attorney General’s Office is constitutionally or statutorily designed to do. We should all know that by now.


  55. - Token Conservative - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 2:23 pm:

    While I’m sure it’s fun for you all who don’t understand how the role of police and prosecutors work, why don’t you focus on Illinois State Police? They have the authority to open an investigation on this right now.


  56. - Michelle Flaherty - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 3:01 pm:

    It’s not every day you see a state’s attorney have a media availability to say they’re going to continue the cover-up of a rape in their jurisdiction.


  57. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 3:22 pm:

    ===It’s not every day you see a state’s attorney have a media availability to say they’re going to continue the cover-up of a rape in their jurisdiction.===

    Lol. If you live long enough, you’ll see everything, amiright?


  58. - Sweet Mama - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    The Champaign County sheriff has a doctorate in criminal justice.


  59. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 9, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Fun fact: Office of Executive Inspector General can’t investigate without receiving a complaint.

    Don’t wait for them to pick up something and run with it, submit a complaint.


TrackBack URI

This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.



* Just 6.8 percent of House Republicans have served longer than ten years
* Southern Illinois gets Pritzker focus
* Advocates push for CEJA, Chamber pushes back
* White getting heat from all sides during voter registration controversy
* Pritzker fighting to prevent deposition on racial discrimination suit
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Rep. Feigenholtz is now Sen. Feigenholtz
* Yesterday's stories

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............


Loading


Main Menu
Home
Illinois
YouTube
Pundit rankings
Obama
Subscriber Content
Durbin
Burris
Blagojevich Trial
Advertising
Updated Posts
Polls

Archives
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005

Syndication

RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0
WordPress




Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller