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Oppo dump!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

* This is a very neatly framed Tribune story

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who is now running for Illinois governor, arrived last year at the scene of an arrest by Aurora police in which his then-girlfriend was accused of hitting a security guard at a marijuana store.

The charges against her “would be taken care of,” a police officer overheard him say, according to a police report of the incident obtained by the Aurora Beacon-News and Chicago Tribune. She was charged with an ordinance violation for battery, a minor municipal charge.

In a GOP primary race where Irvin has elevated himself as a law-and-order candidate, the revelation that he showed up at an Aurora police arrest dealing with his girlfriend threatens to dent the image he is trying to cultivate through a relentless, tough-on-crime ad campaign.

Irvin disputes the characterization of his comments that were included in the police report and that it might have implied he used his influence as mayor to affect the charges against his then-girlfriend, Laura Ayala-Clarke, saying that was “actually incorrect.”

Real life isn’t quite so neat.

I’ve seen the video of what went down at that pot shop and, to my eyes, Irvin’s girlfriend was pummeled, pepper sprayed and then forcefully dragged by a much larger person. Yeah, she stubbornly refused to leave when ordered to do so. Yes, she was throwing a stupid temper tantrum about a busted ATM machine and acting like a spoiled child by tossing around her boyfriend’s name to get her way. And yes, she appeared to reflexively fight back.

But, man, she was pummeled, pepper sprayed and dragged. The video made me sick to my stomach. There’s no excuse for that. Security guards don’t have nearly the same authority as police officers, but this would’ve been wrong if the cops had done something similar, which they didn’t. They appeared to handle the situation in a calm manner.

And as far as the matter being “taken care of,” the charges have not been dropped against the girlfriend. Mayor Irvin may have bragged about his bigshot power, but this hasn’t yet gone away.

* That being said, a guy who is running a campaign almost wholly centered around unquestionably supporting the police sure does have a strange way of showing it when he claims that the cop’s report was false.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

49 Comments
  1. - Lord of the Fries - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:37 am:

    As Rich says “very neatly framed” story.

    “Would be taken care of” could mean a hundred different things in this situation.


  2. - Lurker - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:39 am:

    What’s harder than being New Coke?
    Being original Cokes girlfriend


  3. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:39 am:

    Is the real idea here to link Irvin to marijuana in the minds of GOP primary voters?


  4. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:43 am:

    Griffin, who was responsible for the due diligence of your man?


  5. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    -Is the real idea here to link Irvin to marijuana in the minds of GOP primary voters?-

    That stuff they harrumph about in public but privately like as much as anyone else? Could be.

    As for questioning the police, spoken like a true criminal defense lawyer. But he’s not one of those, is he? /s


  6. - frustrated GOP - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:48 am:

    Well folks, welcome to Aurora under Irvin where his girlfriend(s), lady friends, run amok and are hired by the City and anyone else who might want city contracts or approval of developments.

    I’m just surprised someone with that many Skeltons would want to run for higher office where people might look into this stuff and actually publish it. In the mayor’s race, it was well known by those who know, but never published.

    But then again, he’s never run into the GOP buzzsaw which is the oppo research in the GOP primary.

    Welcome to the big league Richard, where it all comes out. I’m sure more to come.
    Interesting, look at all the free research for the next mayoral race. Don’t close down the law office quite yet, might need that in a few years.


  7. - Streator Curmudgeon - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    Well, in fairness, we can’t be responsible for the behavior of another adult. Parents of grown children can speak to that dilemma.

    As Rich rightly points out, security guards are not cops and don’t have the same authority. Sounds like overreacting.

    It may be one of those much ado about nothing incidents, but it doesn’t help Irvin.


  8. - SWSider - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    Had the same thought, Rich. It’s honestly the most relatable Irvin has been so far. If he leans into, it might even make me go as far and say it even makes me like the person a bit.

    That being said, I am just about the furthest thing from a GOP primary voter, so it’s possible this is as bad as some think.


  9. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    “She was charged with an ordinance violation”

    The other wonderful reason municipalities duplicate state laws as ordinance violations.

    To give the appearance to the public of filing charges when a local politco gets into trouble, but as an ordinance violation it doesn’t go on the persons record and it’s no more serious of a charge than a parking ticket. The general public never gets this treatment.

    A few years back a campaign worker(for a republican shockingly) was caught pulling down campaign signs of their opponent. There was a scuffle and the charges were assault/battery, but written up as an ordinance violation. Fast forward, and this same guy then gets busted assaulting *Santa Claus* at a car dealership in a nearby town.

    Now, because the first assault was a mere ordinance violation, that doesn’t come up as a violation of probation on the first assault/battery. What would otherwise be a repeat offender, now gets a break due to the local politicians helping him avoid any real consequences the first time he assaulted someone.

    This practice goes on in small towns all over the state, and it needs to be stopped. The average citizen would get the full brunt of the charges, not the ordinance violation. Most people probably don’t even know this is happening, because who really looks that closely at the charge to notice if it is a state law or local ordinance?

    Who will be the first politician who claims to care about crime, to introduce a bill at the state level to deal with local municipalities duplicating state laws, but lowering the penalties?


  10. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 10:58 am:

    Also, this really drives home that the Griffin Gang had the whole campaign, most especially messaging, set up way before they had the candidate, and he’s such an awkward fit for what they want to say.


  11. - Big Dipper - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    The bigger issue isn’t that he didn’t follow through on his bluster, it is that he is lying again. Everyone knows that saying that something “will be taken care of” means to make it go away. He should just admit that he said it in the heat of the moment, didn’t follow through, and now regrets saying it. But that would require honesty and maturity.


  12. - JS Mill - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    =Real life isn’t quite so neat.=

    I can attest to that from personal experience.

    And, what Arsenal said x2.

    People will do/say a lot of things including going the big-time route to help or impress a romantic partner. As a human I cannot fault him for that, I have done a lot of dumb stuff in the name of love.

    Butr Irvin is running for governor as the tough-guy law and order guy who totally funds and backs the blue. This is inconsistent with that stance.


  13. - Hmm - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    The fake law and order candidate says police are lying about his girlfriend’s battery charges… the commercials write themselves. This woman going to be the future First Lady of Illinois? Come on. This is who the man is. A messy adulterer who is the mayor of a town and throws that influence around to access whatever perks he can. It’s well documented at this point. We don’t need a governor like that.


  14. - Big Dipper - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    Also you know that if it was a police report about JB Irvin and Tracy would insist that every word of it must be taken as true.


  15. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:08 am:

    Irvin is the most disingenuous candidate I’ve seen since Trump. We elected him president, and some still have not seen through him. This is not a knockout punch, nor will there be one. It is disappointing none the less.


  16. - Amalia - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    the Rs are not my people, but I hate to see mess like this. it fuels all sorts of negative comments that spill over to people, and especially women. sad.


  17. - northsider (the original) - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:11 am:

    Call me old fashioned, but didn’t he also have a wife at the time of this incident?


  18. - Pundent - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    Richard Irvin, the actor, was carefully cast into this part. He’s been given a script that he’s not allowed to deviate from. But as we’ve seen the person playing the role is far different from what the script calls for. And that’s because actors in life are often quite different than the roles they’re cast in. Richard Irvin wants us to focus on the role he’s playing, not his background.


  19. - Goodness - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    ==Had the same thought, Rich. It’s honestly the most relatable Irvin has been so far. If he leans into, it might even make me go as far and say it even makes me like the person a bit.==

    You guys are so clueless sometimes.


  20. - King Louis XVI - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:19 am:

    –Richard Irvin, the actor, was carefully cast into this part.–

    He have been cast into the part, but “carefully”? I dunno.


  21. - PoliSci for Life - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    Real life IS messy - so is the Irvin campaign saying that not all crimes should be treated the same? That context and aggression on the part of cops/security guards/authority figures should be taken in consideration when discussing a crime? Are they suggesting the police report might no be accurate?

    I’m sorry but no pass should be given or offered by opposing campaigns or the press on this incident and Irvin’s handling of it. He wants to be the Back the Blue, All Lives Matter, Lock ‘Em Up tough guy then he should be ready to stand by that in his personal life. He wants to run ads about Madigan and corruption in government, then he should have to answer for throwing his name and position around in a situation like this.

    The man lies. He lies constantly. He wants to say one thing and do another. So I’m sorry - but not interested in a defense of “life is messy” - bc while life sure is messy, Irvin has made clear that that is not a defense for any other person facing a similar situation in Illinois. Why is it ok for him?

    He deserves to get absolutely pounded on this by his opponents. And he deserves to be held accountable on this by the press. Justifying his excuses is a ridiculous in this context.


  22. - Masker - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:29 am:

    The bigger issue isn’t that he didn’t follow through on his bluster, it is that he is lying again. Everyone knows that saying that something “will be taken care of” means to make it go away. He should just admit that he said it in the heat of the moment, didn’t follow through, and now regrets saying it. But that would require honesty and maturity.

    Talk about being open minded? You don’t know what he meant but apparently you made mind up before you heard any evidence? I hope you’re not a cop.


  23. - SWSider - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:36 am:

    ==You guys are so clueless sometimes.==

    Agreed, Goodness. Some people are just hopelessly lost.


  24. - walker - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    First thing I have read about Irvin that makes me think of him as a fellow human being. The rest is impersonal scripting.

    Goodness, I must be “clueless” too.


  25. - Pundent - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:45 am:

    =You don’t know what he meant but apparently you made mind up before you heard any evidence?=

    I think the inference is pretty obvious. And Irvin’s girlfriend made it clear that she wasn’t calling Richard Irvin, criminal defense lawyer, she was calling Mayor Richard Irvin. Unless the old “do you know who my boyfriend is” doesn’t mean what we think it means either.


  26. - sal-says - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:46 am:

    == But, man, she was pummeled, pepper sprayed and dragged ==

    Doesn’t excuse irvins comments.


  27. - Juice - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    Look, Richard Irvin’s “it’ll be taken care of” is simply the equivalent of Madigan’s “you’ll be fine.”

    So really nothing to see here. Unless you’re actively campaigning against Mike Madigan I suppose.


  28. - Big Dipper - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:50 am:

    ==Talk about being open minded? You don’t know what he meant but apparently you made mind up before you heard any evidence? I hope you’re not a cop.==

    Ask 100 people on the street what that phrase means. You are playing word games like Irvin.


  29. - OneMan - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:53 am:

    So the Beacon-News, (a Chicago Tribune newspaper), this happened a year ago in Aurora (the city you say you are the newspaper for) and you either had no idea it happened (which would seem to indicate what a poor job you now do covering Aurora) or you decided it wasn’t a story when it happened.

    So which is it, did you miss the story in Aurora or did you decide it wasn’t a story at the time?

    If you missed it when it happened, which based on my experience with you is by far the more likely case, did you at least thank the oppo researcher that handed this to you?

    Considering she is still facing charges if taking care of it meant it going away, he didn’t do a great job of it.


  30. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:59 am:

    ==Talk about being open minded? You don’t know what he meant but apparently you made mind up before you heard any evidence? I hope you’re not a cop.==

    Man, it is wild seeing the Irvinistas adopt these “Rights of the accused” arguments.

    But I will say, sincerely, that I hope Irvin’s (ex?) girlfriend was not subject to the cash bail system for this offense.


  31. - New Day - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:01 pm:

    “Irvin has made clear that that is not a defense for any other person facing a similar situation in Illinois. Why is it ok for him?”

    Actually, it’s totally ok as long as they are a defense client of his.

    First off, this story is awful. The mayor is telling his girlfriend he’s going to abuse his power to get her out of trouble. There is no other rational interpretation and definitely not the drivel he tried to claim.

    Second, I reiterate my point. What the heck is wrong with Z and the GRIFFters? This was a complete failure. They’re getting their $$$ from GRIFFin but Irvin will not cross the finish line. I’ve said all along that Bailey will be the nominee and each passing day proves that will be the case.


  32. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    It’s also intriguing that the notoriously walled off Irvin felt like he had to go on the record to respond to this one.


  33. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:08 pm:

    “if taking care of it meant it going away”

    Taking care of it means it is filed as an ordinance violation, and not the much more serious state law violation.

    It’s a popular trick most politicians in office use for their ‘friends’ locally when they get into trouble.


  34. - Vader - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    The Mayor has no business showing up at the scene of an arrest. He is not a cop, he has no business being there. The fact that it was his girlfriend makes it even worse. No wonder he talks a lot about corruption. He’s envious.


  35. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:11 pm:

    Maybe they need to get that big weed whacker and take to the galpal debit cards and replace with non defective ones


  36. - vern - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:16 pm:

    So this is all pretty gossipy stuff. Irvin seems to have a slightly messier personal life than the average gubernatorial candidate, but that’s not inherently disqualifying. I do think the content of the police report is newsworthy for the reported comment Irvin made, and Rich’s point about Irvin’s purported backing of the proverbial blue. It’s also noteworthy that Irvin was willing to pick up the phone and talk to a reporter about this when he’s been so unwilling to do that otherwise.

    But I do think this is the lesser of two Irvin girlfriend stories this week. There rightfully has been a lot of coverage regarding Speaker Welch’s wife running for judge, but comparatively little for Irvin’s current (I believe) romantic partner also running for judge. Brittany Pedersen’s accepted a $16,250 donation this week from Scientel Solutions, the same company that has been the subject of pay-to-play questions for their dealings in Aurora. That’s a newer story with a much closer nexus to Irvin, an ongoing campaign, and governance in Aurora. I’m shocked that neither reporters nor Irvin’s opponents have picked up on it.


  37. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:25 pm:

    “He wants to be the Back the Blue, All Lives Matter, Lock ‘Em Up tough guy then he should be ready to stand by that in his personal life. He wants to run ads about Madigan and corruption in government, then he should have to answer for throwing his name and position around in a situation like this.”

    Yeah, all of this.

    – MrJM


  38. - Norseman - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:31 pm:

    Isn’t this special. Our crimefighter actually does go to the scene of crime.


  39. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    The “the police report was wrong” is a fascinating line from the #BackTheBlue guy.


  40. - 47th Ward - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===…his then-girlfriend, Laura Ayala-Clarke…===

    Are they no longer dating? Could that maybe explain why the charges haven’t gone away?

    Asking for a friend.


  41. - vole - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    Just bring out the Corona pruners and take care of the weeds. Yep, this is what is gonna take back Illinois. If it ain’t strange now we’ll know it when the real strange gets here.


  42. - The Hills 60010 - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    - Amalia - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 11:10 am:

    the Rs are not my people, but I hate to see mess like this. it fuels all sorts of negative comments that spill over to people, and especially women. sad.

    Sadly, there is more to come. I think the women and children involved will catch the hell he wrought.


  43. - ComeON - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 1:37 pm:

    No way to explain himself out of this one. Irvin is a phony and every where we look there’s a story backing the claim from every angle. If this was JB - the GOP would be holding regional pressers all day long. I am honestly surprised that Bourne would want to be any part of a mess like this.


  44. - Arsenal - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    ==Also you know that if it was a police report about JB Irvin and Tracy would insist that every word of it must be taken as true. ==

    I mean, they still haul toilets out to his events.


  45. - Annonin' - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    This new “let me finish” moment seems to demand a new approach. How a segment called “Ask Avery”?
    Dear Avery
    Need some quick advice. If you sent your squeze to the dope store to access Mango gummies (boy toys love Mango) but his debit card got marginalized would you
    (a) let the call go to voice mail
    (b) rushed over with some Grants to hurry the moment up
    (c) whispered loud enough for the blues to hear the tooth fairy would take care of it?
    Just askin’
    Bruce


  46. - Roadrager - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==Are they no longer dating? Could that maybe explain why the charges haven’t gone away?==

    From -vern- at 12:16pm:
    ==There rightfully has been a lot of coverage regarding Speaker Welch’s wife running for judge, but comparatively little for Irvin’s current (I believe) romantic partner also running for judge. Brittany Pedersen’s accepted a $16,250 donation this week from Scientel Solutions, the same company that has been the subject of pay-to-play questions for their dealings in Aurora.==

    So I guess when it came to Laura, Mayor Irvin was finished.


  47. - Real - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 2:10 pm:

    I am honestly surprised that Bourne would want to be any part of a mess like this.
    -

    Irvin represents Raunerism and you know Rauner is all about lies, greed, and self seeking corruption. Knowing all that you should know Rauner picked Bourne as she is no different than himself or Irvin. She just hasn’t been given the power yet to fully reveal it to you.


  48. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 2:31 pm:

    Richard Irvin’s personal life seems very messy and complicated.

    But what bothers me more than whatever his romantic relationships may entail is the possible hypocrisy or corruption involved.

    Trying to or threatening to use authority as mayor to take care of charges is not a good look.

    Another thing that comes to mind is has anyone even asked Mr. Tough-on-Crime criminal defense attorney what his stance is on marijuana legalization? Or any of the GOP nominees for governor?

    This is not a dead issue. At the very least, the next governor of Illinois will have a big role in dictating how things go forward with awarding licenses for marijuana dispensaries.

    And the public deserves to know if the Republicans got a majority in Springfield, would they re-criminalize marijuana? Irvin’s running mate voted against legalization of recreational marijuana. Does Irvin have that same position?


  49. - duck duck goose - Thursday, May 19, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    Without reading the police report, it doesn’t seem like Irvin did anything inappropriate with respect to the charges.

    If “taking care” of the charge meant knocking it down from a misdemeanor to an ov, then it seems pretty odd that the police would note Irvin’s statement in their report and then decide to go ahead and issue the ov ticket. That would be like reporting that “he said he was going to bribe me…and then I took his bribe.”

    Ordinance violations are frequently written for minor fights like this (minor on her part–not so much on the security guard’s). The fact that it was charged and not dropped indicates that Irvin did nothing to “take care” of it.

    At most, he might be guilty of lying to his hysterical girlfriend. That might not be an offense.


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