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April 19, 2024

Shelby County – “Search Warrants, Subpoenas and Further Interviews Are Anticipated”

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On December 15, 2023

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

After the resignation of the former Shelby County State’s Attorney, Nichole Kroncke, in January of 2023, it was discovered by the appointed special prosecutors that records were missing from the office computers.

As reported in this article, “According to an email dated February 10, 2023, from the court-appointed special prosecutor Tracy Weaver, numerous public records appear to be missing from the State’s Attorney’s office computers. While emails placed in a deleted folder are not technically the destruction of a record, it is a form of concealment of public records.  More concerning are the other referenced missing files.”

“Elizabeth and I have also found that all documents (letters, charging documents, motions, subpoenas, orders, FOIA responses, press releases, etc.) have been deleted from Ms. Kroncke’s and Mr. Scott’s computers”.

While we do not know what Judge Harlow did with the information presented to her on this matter, a criminal investigation is active by the Division of Criminal Investigations at the ISP regarding something tied to former State’s Attorney Kroncke. We suspect it’s tied to possible record destruction but since they are refusing to provide records we will not know until the investigation is concluded.

We asked the ISP for the following in our FOIA request:

“Copy of all completed investigation reports recordings, and interview reports pertaining to an investigation of the former Shelby County State’s Attorney Nichole Kronke. It is believed this investigation would have begun sometime after January 31, 2023.”

The Illinois State Police Freedom of Information Officer was advised by the Division of Criminal Investigations that “search warrants, subpoenas, and further interviews are anticipated.”  For those reasons, they denied the release of the records.

While not tied to this case, we did win our ISP lawsuit for the release of interview recordings regarding the investigation into illegal gun sales and payroll fraud at the Shelby County Sheriff’s office during former Sheriff Koonce’s term.  The ISP fought the release of those public records for approximately 2 years and the court ruled against them and ordered their release.  We recently obtained the recordings and listened to them. It will be most interesting to see how the lies told during those interviews are going be explained away by the locals.  By all indications, the ISP failed to even follow up to validate many claims made which would explain why the AG chose to not pursue any criminal charges.  We will have several articles soon on the recordings.

A copy of the FOIA response pertaining to the Kroncke investigation can be downloaded at this link or viewed below.

 

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6 Comments
  • Sgt. Joe Friday (LAPD Ret)
    Posted at 19:44h, 15 December

    I know nothing about this case or whether or not there is any culpability so these comments are not directed at anyone. That disclaimer stated – and strictly and generally speaking – don’t count on anything arising from ISP investigations of state’s attorneys. My opinion – and it’s only an opinion: If there is any evidence of wrong-doing in this or similar types of cases, if the higher-ups in ISP don’t deep six the investigation then the appellate prosecutor’s office will see that it goes no where.

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 22:21h, 15 December

      She works at the Appellate Prosecutors Office…

  • Justice Seeker
    Posted at 08:04h, 16 December

    I agree with SGT. Her husband worked in ISP and will pull some string just like they both did to cover up for Koonce and others. Interesting the timing of the release. One can only guess the statute of limitations is past and now there won’t be any consequences.

  • Brian K Anderson
    Posted at 12:24h, 16 December

    I also agree with Sgt. Friday’s observations. In my opinion, Ms. Kronke should sleep well knowing that ISP and the AG are investigating the case.

    Taken from a Dec. 4, 2023 Chicago based WTTW article, according to a ISP spokeswoman Melaney Arnold, “since its creation in March 2020 ISP’s Special Investigative Unit has opened more than 80 cases. At least two resulted in local officials pleading guilty to felonies — a township road commissioner who used the government credit card to spend $27,300 on personal purchases and a county coroner who misspent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on personal travel.” A 2.5% success rate.

    Based upon my personal experience, unless ISP provides evidence supportting an open and shut case for the AG, criminal charges will not be pursued. Subject to interpretation, that could mean that corruption or misconduct was present but nothing will be done about it.

    ISP Director Brendan Kelly believes that the new “online” complaint process will reduce government corruption in Illinois. File all the complaints you want. If ISP and the AG have no better success rate than in the past, government corruption will remain what Illinois is best known for.

    • Droopy: Master Sergeant
      Posted at 12:36h, 17 December

      My personal opinion is that the only reason ISP opened a new unit is so that tipsters would stop calling ECWD. They make ISP look bad when they do a better investigation. Selective law enforcement Hanes off to a bias AG who has no interest in restoring public trust. Actions always speak louder that words.

  • Just Me
    Posted at 16:33h, 18 December

    Somebody tell Kwame there’s prosecutorial miscon….oh, wait, he didn’t care about Foxx’s corruption on Jussie either….never mind.

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