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Question of the day

Friday, Sep 25, 2020

* Center Square

As lawmakers from both sides of the aisle at the Illinois statehouse continue to offer up ideas they believe must be implemented to curb corruption and clean up ethics, one is looking to give local prosecutors power to wiretap public corruption suspects. […]

State Sen. John Curran Thursday with other Republicans laid out measures he said would help combat such behavior. He said local prosecutors can get wiretaps for drug and gang investigations, but not for public corruption investigations, and that needs to change.

“The federal government has shown us how they effectively use wiretapping evidence to break through the system of corruption here in Illinois, our local prosecutors need to get in the game,” Curran said.

Curran said there’d be judicial oversight to ensure such power wasn’t abused for political reasons.

* The Question: Overall, would you trust state’s attorneys with this power? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please…


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- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - NIU Grad - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:15 pm:

    Re: Judicial Oversight - Local judges are elected too.

    I’ve seen too many SA’s/Sheriffs/Judges abuse their positions and mix their party roles with their official duties without accountability to even fathom giving them power to wiretap other local officials. Want petty local fiefdoms? Give ambitious SA’s this power.


  2. - Lucky Pierre - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:18 pm:

    Leave it the the FBI even though the bombshells coming out now about political shenanigans in the Comey FBI prove they are not free from partisan bias.


  3. - FormerParatrooper - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:27 pm:

    We see corruption at every level of government and partisan attacks. No State’s Attorney should have the sole discretion for a wiretap. There needs to be a evenly divided committee to make such an action. 3 each of the 2 parties should be suffice. Not a perfect idea, but dividing the power would help safeguard abuses.


  4. - Wonk - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:28 pm:

    No, too many SAs are embedded in party politics. They should focus on running their offices effectively and ethically, not be tempted to use the resources of that office for political vendettas.


  5. - Eloy - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Maybe we wait to see how the Burke motion to supress shakes out first.


  6. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:32 pm:

    They have enough to do already to add spying on opponents to their job description.


  7. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:33 pm:

    Does the rest of the caucus know that Curran wants to give Kim Foxx the power to wiretap?

    Also, does Curran still work for Kim Foxx?


  8. - pool boy - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:48 pm:

    So an elected official can issue a wire tap on another elected official with oversight by another elected official. This seems unethical to me.


  9. - Red Ketcher - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 2:55 pm:

    NO - most State’s Attorney’s would do right. BUT
    Risk Outweighs Reward - Already, have Overhear Ability which State’s Attorney can get by making apllication through the Court , similar to Search Warrant procedure. So say NO - not needed


  10. - Excitable Boy - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    No, I’d prefer they didn’t have that authority for other crimes either.


  11. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:02 pm:

    ===political shenanigans in the Comey FBI===

    Yeah, no kidding. That October Surprise letter about her e-mails in 2016 cost Hillary the election. That’s what you meant, right LP?


  12. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:05 pm:

    I only voted No because H*!! NO wasn’t an option.

    Way too ripe for abuse to “investigate” political opponents


  13. - Dutch - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:07 pm:

    Look at what happened here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/09/25/metro/ag-healey-major-annoucement-coming-holyoke-soldiers-home-probe/

    Corruption with the legislature is just part of the issue. But, senior leaders across all state agencies need to be held accountable like those Veterans Home leaders in Mass. We should have had that here in 2015. If the state has to settle civil suits for wrongful death than criminal liability should have been found there. DCFS is mired in corruption from the top down. They ignore court orders and consent decrees. IDOT, the Tollway Authority, the ICC, etc…it starts with the legislatures and with senior leadership at these agencies to be held accountable. Until then I don’t think any amount of political posturing or watered down laws will make a difference.


  14. - walker - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:08 pm:

    States Attorneys include some the most politically-driven characters in this state.


  15. - Back to the Future - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:23 pm:

    Voted Yes.
    Any additional options to dealing with corruption (like expanding investigation resources) should be welcomed.
    Courts can still work as safeguards on abuses, but law enforcement needs more tools if we are ever going to deal with the corruption problem in Illinois.


  16. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:31 pm:

    Absolutely not!

    Just think of how on the federal FISA courts the judges, who are highly experienced and professional, get taken for a ride on every application! Think of how the local judges across the country basically give zero oversight to police warrant requests! Absolutely not should cowboy prosecutors and cops be given wiretap authority! It’ll make the spying revelations from the congressional Church Committee in the 1970s look like a church picnic!


  17. - Keyrock - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:37 pm:

    No. Too many of the State’s Attorneys — and judges — couldn’t be trusted with this power.


  18. - Bigtwich - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:51 pm:

    Worked in a State’s Attorney’s office once. Voted no.


  19. - Don't Bloc Me In - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    No, no, no. People in elected office should not have that power.


  20. - yinn - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    I would trust our current SA with this power, and I would have trusted the two-termer SA whose tenure ended 1996. That leaves 20 years of heck no. So, overall, no.


  21. - SSL - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    No. Only a politically independent body would be in a position to determine appropriate use.


  22. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 4:19 pm:

    Yes. You wonder why a local prosecutor can’t prosecute corruption on the same level the Feds can? The Feds can wiretap. If you have ever been on a wire, studied how they work, you know how specific the work is. they have to go on and off a wire if the conversation is not pertinent to the warrant. If you don’t want to give local prosecutors the power, stop saying they aren’t doing enough.


  23. - JoanP - Friday, Sep 25, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    Good lord, no. It is the rare state’s attorney who doesn’t make decisions based on politics. I have worked with a slew of SAs, and I can’t think of one I’d have trusted with this power.


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