DEWITT CO. (ECWd) –
In direct violation of his statutory duty, Dewitt County State’s Attorney sniped at a county board board member during a public meeting with a statement worthy of his resignation, and considering he is the very person who is suppose to uphold the law, maybe he should face Official Misconduct charges!
The State”s Attorney is an elected official for the county and his duties are very specific in nature. It doesn’t take an educated person to understand what those duties are. They are even broken down by number so it’s not like reading a running paragraph that has to be dissected.
Specifically, item number 7 in the list of his duties states:
“To give his opinion, without fee or reward, to any county officer in his county, upon any question or law relating to any criminal or other matter, in which the people or the county may be concerned.” (Click here to download States Attorney Statutory Duties)
21:50 mark of the audio –“Terry you’re not my client, the county board is my client”.
Terry Hoffman just happens to be a County Board Member (a County Officer), which makes him his client!
Karle Koritz (firstname.lastname@example.org), the current State’s Attorney, apparently has either never read his statutory duties or he has once again allowed his arrogance to get in the way of doing his job within the scope of the law.
This is the same guy that justified the most amazing crude comments by his assistant with a statement of “found it to be completely out of character for Mr. Dunn”. Hey, Mr. State’s Attorney, a person’s character is established by his actions! You should have fired the kid!
The SA response was in reaction to several comments made in a letter from his assistant to the board, of which this is one of those comments: “he will feel like a kid in the back seat of a car after prom. It will be awkward for him or her, painful, over quickly, and he/she will not end up getting the result that was hoped for.” (Click here for article covering this event)
Back to the issue at hand; legal representation. Each and every county officer in Dewitt County is his client and he is required by law to provide his legal opinion upon any question relating to any criminal or other matter, which clearly the question asked by the board member fell into the “other matter” category.
What recourse does the public have when a State’s Attorney
fails refuses to perform his statutory duty? May we suggest a formal criminal complaint to the State Police?
I know we don’t need to remind our regular readers, but for the sake of all the new ones joining the cause daily, let’s once again review the Official Misconduct statute and apply it to the arrogant Dewitt County State’s Attorney.
It’s short, sweet, and to the point! Even a lawyer would understand this one!
(720 ILCS 5/33-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 33-3)
Sec. 33-3. Official Misconduct.) A public officer or employee or special government agent commits misconduct when, in his official capacity or capacity as a special government agent, he commits any of the following acts:
(a) Intentionally or recklessly fails to perform any mandatory duty as required by law; or
(b) Knowingly performs an act which he knows he is forbidden by law to perform; or
(c) With intent to obtain a personal advantage for himself or another, he performs an act in excess of his lawful authority; or
(d) Solicits or knowingly accepts for the performance of any act a fee or reward which he knows is not authorized by law.
A public officer or employee or special government agent convicted of violating any provision of this Section forfeits his office or employment or position as a special government agent. In addition, he commits a Class 3 felony.
For purposes of this Section, “special government agent” has the meaning ascribed to it in subsection (l) of Section 4A-101 of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act.
(Source: P.A. 94-338, eff. 1-1-06.) (click here for link to download the statute)
Now is there anyone that thinks the State’s Attorney should not be charged with Official Misconduct? He is the the top legal authority in the county, and by his own words has refused provide a legal opinion to a question asked of him by his client. And in fact, he not only has refused to provide a response but has taken the position that a county board member is not his client.
With that kind of arrogance I would think it’s high time the public step up and start taking back their government because it’s clearly out of control!
For those that want to make this political you had best realize that actions like this from ANY State’s Attorney is clearly wrong and places each and every elected person at risk because they can no longer trust the system. Those who are elected are entitled by statute to have their questions answered by their legal counsel. The reason is that it is the board members who must run the county, and when they are not given the legal opinion they request, it opens Pandora’s box for legal challenges down the road that ultimately can lead to a huge liability to the taxpayer!
Contact your neighbors, co-workers, elected officials and the State Police! This kind of action must be stopped and not allowed to go unanswered!
Oh, and he has recently applied for an Asistant Judgeship in Champaign County!