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Proft, Rinehart square off in dueling Tribune op-eds

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Dan Proft’s Tribune op-ed

The law, at nearly 800 pages, in part is set to take effect Jan. 1. It has become an issue, and should be, in every political campaign in the November election. To those of us paying attention, the SAFE-T Act was a disaster in 2021. It is a disaster still.

The bill was opposed by just about every law enforcement official in Illinois — and yes, Democrats too. Of the few dozen or so Democratic county state’s attorneys in office in 2021 across the state, two openly supported its passage: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart. Rinehart is the same person, by the way, overseeing the prosecution of the Highland Park parade shooting suspect. Now he’s all about law and order. […]

Some examples [Democratic state’s attorney from Hamilton County Justin Hood] cited in a letter he wrote on behalf of an association representing Illinois prosecutors: “A serial arsonist who sets fires to people’s homes by law must be released because we cannot specifically identify the person in the home where the next fire will be. A husband who murders his wife must be released because we cannot determine the person poses a danger to a specific, identifiable person or persons. The same applies to heroin dealers, drunken drivers, gun traffickers, and felons in possession of a gun. […]

Democratic Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, among other top prosecutors, filed a lawsuit to overturn the SAFE-T Act. In predictable fashion, Glasgow, who called the act the “end of days” for the criminal justice system, is now being attacked by Democratic Party hacks, including from the governor’s office.

* Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart has his own Tribune op-ed

While the reform was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in February 2021, opponents of the new detention system waited until September of an election year to fill our mailboxes with fearmongering and political mailings that resemble newspapers. This partisan misinformation has greatly damaged a transition process that should be focused on implementation of an important reform. And like every change, there will need to be legislative improvements prior to enactment. Since May 2021, without political fanfare, state lawmakers passed two important changes — trailer bills H.B. 3443, SA5 and HB 3512, SA1 — to improve parts of the act. But now, the leaves are changing, and obviously, political operatives are trying to scare voters. Such tactics are particularly offensive when they include false claims about personal safety. Shame on them.

Instead of using our time filing meritless lawsuits, the professionals at the Lake County state’s attorney’s office have been working to protect public safety and ensuring those charged with violent crimes aren’t back on the streets on Jan. 1 and beyond. We will be filing our detention petitions now so that judges can make their determinations as to who should be detained on Jan. 1, once a cash value is replaced with a finding of “detention” or “released with conditions.” By focusing on this important decision in the next 90 days, Lake County will be safer than those counties where the leadership is distracted by serving state Rep. Jim Durkin’s political ambitions.

The complaining started long before last month, but one wonders whether the other state’s attorneys who are complaining on Facebook and to their local news outlets are actually putting in the work ahead of time.

* More stuff…

* Incumbent McConchie, Peterson clash over SAFE-T Act in 26th state Senate District race: McConchie said in an interview that a police officer told him at a recent meeting that “if somebody pitches a tent in a resident’s backyard, an officer can only give them a ticket but can’t remove them from the premises.” A task force set up by the Illinois Supreme Court to prepare the court system for the law’s implementation countered similar claims by police and Republican lawmakers about trespassing, saying that officers can remove a person from a location before issuing a citation and that suspects can be detained for all class A trespassing misdemeanors.

* Will County sheriff candidates weigh in on SAFE-T Act: Kelley said Reilly thinks because he doesn’t go on Facebook to tell the public about how he is against the SAFE-T Act, that means he’s not doing anything about it. “I was taught at a young age, you got a problem with something, do something about it,” Kelley said. “Don’t just whine and cry about it. That’s not me. I’m doing everything in my power as Will County Sheriff to get this fixed.” … Glasgow did not respond to questions about which sheriff candidate he supports, or which candidate for governor.

* Galesburg raises fees, adds trash service, considers SAFE-T Act: Galesburg police chief Russel Idle and Knox County state’s attorney Jeremy Karlin both weighed in on the discussion, each saying they do not believe the SAFE-T Act will be repealed. Karlin affirmed that cash-bail is classist and often abused, and so that is one thing the SAFE-T Act seeks to fix. But Karlin also said the SAFE-T Act contradicts itself and other Illinois laws. He said that he has been meeting with other court staff and law enforcement officials once a week over the past seven months and “struggling” to figure out how exactly the SAFE-T Act will change their work. Idle affirmed that there are several concerns about the SAFE-T Act and he would like to see its wording be “fine-tuned or changed in a way that’s more applicable.” But Idle said that the police are ultimately tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the state legislature’s laws. The vote on the resolution was tabled to the council’s Nov. 7 meeting.

* Illinois Safe-T Act: Suburban city council to vote on resolution this week: The Joliet City Council is most particularly concerned with the cash free bail amendment. Council members say they are in support of the law overall and have already implemented elements, including police body cameras and use-of-force training.

* Group protests senator’s proposed changes to SAFE-T Act: State Senator Scott Bennett (D) had a brief conversation with protestors outside his Champaign office. Many came from the Champaign County Bailout Coalition and Party for Socialism and Liberation, who say his proposed changes to the SAFE-T Act could hurt their cause. Particularly, the Champaign County Bailout Coalition is on a mission to end cash bail in Illinois. “It puts a financial strain on the families that shouldn’t be there,” spokesperson, E, said.

* Brown County joins lawsuit challenging “SAFE-T Act”: “Sheriff Oliver and myself took an oath to protect the people of Brown County and of the State of Illinois,” Hill said in a news release. “We also swore to uphold the Constitution of the State of Illinois and of these United States. The “SAFE-T Act” is not only an abomination that contradicts itself in numerous places, but it was passed in violation of statutory provisions, established case law and provisions of the Illinois Constitution, and it puts the people of Brown County in danger. This, we cannot abide.”

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21 Comments
  1. - John Lopez - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    === The complaining started long before last month… ===

    Thank you for making this clear. The July 4 Naperville Rally by Safe Suburbs USA was first I heard of the current concerns about the SAFE-T Act. Both Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and his DuPage counterpart Bob Berlin spoke at that rally.

    Glasgow also appeared on News Nation on July 13, hinting at the legal action plan, which he submitted in a lawsuit last month.

    I spoke out about this before a Kane County Board committee in late July, because of the budget shortfalls caused by implementing the SAFE-T Act, quoting Glasgow from July 4 and 13.

    I spoke with Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser, and state Representative Suzanne Ness in July, too, giving one constituents’ views.

    Mosser definitely on record, including discussing possible changes with WTTW last month, shared here on Capitol Fax blog.

    May positive changes take place between now and the end of the year.


  2. - DougChicago - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    So one of the state’s leading newspaper is comfortable giving Cicero Dan Prof(i)t, the fake newspaper king, a platform? We get the community we deserve apparently.


  3. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 10:59 am:

    Proft claims Democrats disparage with personal attacks when he calls JB petulant in the same op-ed and has previously called him a bedwetter and attacked his daughter.


  4. - New Day - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    You just know there are some nefarious states attorneys out there who won’t do the work so that criminals go free so they can own the libs and show the public they were right. They’re gambling with people’s lives.


  5. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:03 am:

    ==So one of the state’s leading newspaper is comfortable giving Cicero Dan Prof(i)t, the fake newspaper king, a platform?==

    They are a hair away from running QAnon op-eds.


  6. - Google Is Your Friend - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    ==The complaining started long before last month, but one wonders whether the other state’s attorneys who are complaining on Facebook and to their local news outlets are actually putting in the work ahead of time.==

    We all know the answer is no.


  7. - Gravitas - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:06 am:

    Pritzker should have vetoed the flawed bill when it hit his desk. The proponents could have reworked the legislation and come up with something better. Governor’s own.


  8. - vern - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:12 am:

    Why run this op-Ed from Proft? He’s not a lawmaker, a states attorney or a judge. Hes not a defense attorney. He’s not a victim or defendant of a crime. He doesn’t have a law degree and doesn’t even live in Illinois. How is he the most qualified and informative SAFE-T Act opponent the Tribune could find?


  9. - The Velvet Frog - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    Veto the bill? If the vast majority of it works, pass it and make the tweaks it needs. Which is what they’ve been doing. Calling it “flawed” is just buying into the misinformation and fearmongering.


  10. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to actually see what happens when the thing is implemented. Because I don’t believe for one minute it will be the end of the world as some have suggested.


  11. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:19 am:

    –but one wonders whether the other state’s attorneys who are complaining on Facebook and to their local news outlets are actually putting in the work–

    I don’t wonder at all. I live in Will County where Glasgow has been busy filing his personal lawsuits, instead of doing the work his office should be doing.

    What is most interesting, is watching the people he lets out immediately *right now*. Then I looked closer at the charges he eventually files against offenders who are convicted. One of the most egregious was a man who was molesting residents at the apartment building he worked at. The SA and judge decided dropping the charges down to a punishment of probation was a better choice than giving him a record and prison time. Within a few months of his charges being dropped, he was out molesting kids and was caught again, and thanks to Glasgow he has a clean record in the eyes of the law for his next trial.

    Another example is the woman who keeps getting arrested for the same crime of leaving her kids in the car while she goes into a bar and drinks for a few hours. After her first arrest, she was let out and was arrested again a few weeks later for the exact same offense in violation of her previous bail terms. She was let out again. I can’t find any reason why it would be difficult to name her children specifically by name as the person she is a danger to, yet that isn’t even being done right now by his office.

    There are a litany of other examples. With his existing record, I don’t believe Glasgow is interested at all in public safety, and I will not be surprised at all if he starts acting out of spite in his official position. All I can look at is his record and public behavior, and he’s making that perception what it is all on his own.

    That he is trying to scare people with the same behavior he is already doing shows a profound lack of integrity on his part. His lawsuit might as well be his resignation letter, and with any luck this is his last term and the repairing of the damage he has caused can finally begin.


  12. - New Day - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:22 am:

    “Pritzker should have vetoed the flawed bill when it hit his desk.”

    Lots of flawed bills pass and are then fixed in trailer bills. It’s all part of the process and only fools throw temper tantrums, take their balls and go home rather than working to fix it.


  13. - Hermosa - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:23 am:

    Bingo, @Vern. Bingo.

    It’s quite clear where the Tribune stands on the issue. They’ve gone to great lengths to stand on the side of hysteria. Rinehart submits an op-ed in response to Durkin’s previous submission. Why include Proft? Did they reach out to anyone when Durkin had his printed? I think we know the answer. Try harder… scratch that. Just try, Tribune.


  14. - A Well-Regulated Commenter - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:26 am:

    ===Naperville Rally by Safe Suburbs USA===

    This completely grassroots organization (it’s not) whose only purpose is to pretend crime is high to scare people and elect Republicans? Can’t connect the dots on why you heard about it there?

    Congratulations on being able to type after your birth on July 4, 2022.


  15. - Been There - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 11:47 am:

    ====The law, at nearly 800 pages,=====
    I know it resonates and many groups use this talking point but whenever I see that line I figure they really don’t have really good arguments.


  16. - 44 - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 12:17 pm:

    Crook county judges and foxx have been making their own laws way before this bill passed. There illegal and unilateral acts are way worse than these so called reforms. Victims are adding up yet no voice. Too bad. No consequences =more crime and more violent crime. Watch.


  17. - btowntruthfromforgottonia - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 12:21 pm:

    Not sure the Brown County SA or the Sheriff have even read the Act.
    Posturing 101.


  18. - Extremely Annoyed - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 12:26 pm:

    ====The law, at nearly 800 pages,=====

    ====whenever I see that line I figure they really don’t have really good arguments.====

    Or know what they’re talking about. The topic in question, the Pretrial Fairness Act, is only about 70. But that doesn’t sound as good…


  19. - Hayek - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    Proft left his dog at his Naples beach house.


  20. - Chicagonk - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    Why has it taken so long for a trailer bill to come out if they knew there were issues with the bill right after passing? The whole act has become an own goal by the Pritzker administration.


  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 4, 22 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===Why has it taken so long for===

    You ever deal with the General Assembly?


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