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*** UPDATED x1 - Director Kelly responds *** Question of the day

Monday, Jan 13, 2020

* Text message this morning from an Illinois Republican Party operative…

Wanted to pass along that the ISP director who is now assisting in investigation [of the McClain email] is also a recipient of McClain campaign contributions.

The attached screen shot…

Click the pic for a larger image, but it’s $350.

* Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady was the first to call for the ISP’s involvement in the investigation, so I reached out to Brady’s spokesperson. His response…

Leader Brady trusts the professionals at the Illinois State Police to conduct this investigation in a thorough manner.

* The Question: Should the state police director recuse himself from this probe? Make sure to explain your answer, please.

*** UPDATE *** From ISP Director Brendan Kelly…

Hey Rich,

The donation in question has been donated to the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run.

I have no personal or professional relationship with Michael McClain and until I read the news I didn’t know who he was.

As a State’s Attorney for eight years, I enforced the law and prosecuted both Democrat and Republican public officials alike- actually more Democrats- and did so because that’s what my oath required.

The professional investigators of the Illinois State Police will pursue violations of the public trust without regard to party or status.

As Director its my job to fight to make sure they have whatever they need to do their job, and that’s exactly what the outstanding men and women of the Illinois State Police will do.

I’m told he asked the general counsel’s office about this and was told that there’s not enough connection to McClain to reach the threshold for a recusal.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Robert the Bruce - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    No. But he might as well donate the $350 to charity.

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    Might just as well. I don’t think the Director would be directly involved in investigations anyway.

  3. - Fleabag - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:36 pm:

    Yes, I think he should recuse himself. There are plenty of others from ISP that can handle this without any appearance of a conflict.

  4. - Perrid - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    I don’t know that the Director does much investigating, but sure.

    Really though, does anyone think $350 is going to make this guy go to the mat for McClain? On THIS landmine?

  5. - Montrose - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    I would if I were him. I see no upside for him or the investigation for not recusing.

  6. - WineTrailHero - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:40 pm:

    Brendan Kelly was the St. Clair County State’s Attorney when he ran against Bost for IL-12. I’d like to think his dedication to law wouldn’t be compromised to a little campaign contribution…but that’s me being positive and trustworthy…

  7. - Wylie Coyote - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:41 pm:

    The way things are going with J.B., Kelly probably should or he’ll be also be kicked to the street.
    BTW, since there’s all of this new wave of ethics, were the toilets ever reinstalled?

  8. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:43 pm:

    The roots of McClain’s network ran deep

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    First, Leader Brady, again, showing where he separates from the partisan rabble.

    To the question,

    Yes, recusal from supervision.

    Allow the Deputy Director, or the Legal Counsel at ISP or Deputy Director, Investigations, be the ending responsible actor, and then submit, no redactions, and then (however they’ve decided), coordinate with OEIG.

  10. - RankandFile - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:44 pm:

    He should recuse himself and return the money. It is about impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.

  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:48 pm:

    Sure, why not recuse? It’s not like he was handling this investigation (or any other) personally. That’s not typically what ISP directors do. They manage, and if they do that properly, the investigators investigate.

    But if a formal recusal prevents any Republicans from playing politics with this, then he should recuse himself from any role in this case.

  12. - fs - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 3:55 pm:

    Yes. Smart politically, since he’s probably using the position as resume padding for a future run for office. Plus, it should not be difficult to do, since he doesn’t involve himself much anyway with the Departments functions.

  13. - Pundent - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 4:09 pm:

    I’m sure that the actual investigation would be led by others regardless of the campaign contribution. In that vein recusal might not be necessary. Perhaps it’s nothing more than a bit of education to those concerned around how these things are typically done.

  14. - ILLannoyed - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 4:24 pm:

    Just recuse himself and let the politics play out. Kelly is a bright spot in an area of the state that is only getting more red. Thread the politics needle and move along, ain’t the hill to die on

  15. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 4:25 pm:

    The truth is that this is a Republican ploy. They’ve already made a decision that this email isn’t bringing down the Speaker, so they’re now switching gears to attack the investigation and ‘investigate the investigators.’ They can’t win with voters, they aren’t right on the merits of the situation, and they’re dictionary definition of hypocrites.

    Are they forgetting this is a multi-agency investigation? Is the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Illinois Attorney General’s office going to participate in a coverup because Mike McClain gave $350 to Brendan Kelly when he ran for congress in a campaign that raised almost $4 million dollars? And what do they truly care about? Obviously not the victim of a rape, sexual assault, or sexual abuse judging by they way they are already on the attack and the way they back Trump to the hilt, who has credible allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

    Think about what we’ve seen we’ve seen since WBEZ revealed this email? For a couple of days the ball was in the Speaker’s court, but it’s moved to a different court that is clearly about the failings of the Quinn administration, the failings of our correctional system, and the personal moral failings of Mike McClain for using rape as a weapon and Forrest Ashby for apparently covering up ghost payrolling. If you keep moving further to the sexual abuse victim in Champaign and ghost workers from Jones, you get further away from what Illinois Republicans want, which is all eyes, heat, and light turned negatively on Mike Madigan.

    Director Kelly should not and does not need to recuse himself. To do so would be to further a Republican political game.

  16. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 4:52 pm:

    If it makes this story go away then, yes, recuse yourself. I think it’s silly though. This was a small contribution made before any of this came out. But if it makes everyone feel better then recuse.

  17. - West Side the Best Side - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 5:00 pm:

    Should it be a real recusal or a Kim Foxx recusal?

  18. - Blue Dog Dem - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 5:05 pm:

    This legal question is a bit over my head, so I have reached out to a couple ol buddies. Both Sessions and Barr should be getting back to me soon.

    On a serious note. Kelley has bigtime political ambitions. He will recuse himself at any moment.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 5:45 pm:

    With all the bloviating Director Kelly felt he needed to say…

    === I’m told he asked the general counsel’s office about this and was told that there’s not enough connection to McClain to reach the threshold for a recusal.===

    … that’s the ball game.

    I’d hate to read this as Kelly tooting his own horn when this investigation is about something so seedy and disturbing.

    Lots of words and puffing when the reality is…

    ===…there’s not enough connection to McClain to reach the threshold for a recusal.===

    Coulda been a bit blander, considering.

  20. - Eire17 - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 6:00 pm:


  21. - Bob Kazamakis - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 7:53 pm:

    $350 to charity is a good call and erases any reason for him to recuse himself.

    It’s a non-issue.

  22. - Downstater - Monday, Jan 13, 20 @ 11:16 pm:

    Jeez - recuse himself? Over $350? Come on. It’s absurd. Director Kelly has a good reputation. Do we really think that he, as Director, is going to go tell an ISP investigator to sit on something to protect a $350 donor? He’s going to actually interfere in an election to help a person he says he doesn’t know. As if said investigator could not himself then report Kelly to the IG. Surely Kelly would be aware of that trap. Of all the things to be worried about on this issue, this is not one of them.

  23. - All This - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 7:43 am:

    Jeanne Ives has a political video ad about the McClain scandal which is odd because she isn’t running against McClain.

    === The truth is that this is a Republican ploy. They’ve already made a decision that this email isn’t bringing down the Speaker, so they’re now switching gears to attack the investigation and ‘investigate the investigators.’ They can’t win with voters, they aren’t right on the merits of the situation, and they’re dictionary definition of hypocrites.===

    It seems to be true. Ives never spoke out against Trump’s behavior. Even Rauner did that. When Uihlein contributed money to Roy Moore she had nothing to say about Moore. Some Republicans (looking at you, Jeanne)are really hypocrites.

  24. - R A T - Tuesday, Jan 14, 20 @ 8:28 am:

    Just a hunch but this is true more often than not on who they have to prosecute.

    “As a State’s Attorney for eight years, I enforced the law and prosecuted both Democrat and Republican public officials alike- actually more Democrats…”

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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