Illinois state's attorneys come under attack by watchdog group
Illinois appears to be plagued by corrupt and illegally acting state's attorneys, the Edgar County Watchdogs allege (ECW).
ECW co-founder Kirk Allen reported on what he says are state's attorneys who ignore, condone or conduct illegal acts and are rewarded with higher-level government positions. He pointed to Edgar County State's Attorney Mark Isaf's alleged inaction when law enforcement breaks the law.
Former Sheriffs Karl Farnham and Tim Crippes sold seized guns as far back as 2002, and despite the sales being against state and federal law, nothing was done until the ECW contacted then-Sheriff Edward Motley in 2012, Allen wrote. Motley assured the ECW that the practice of illegally selling seized weapons would not be continued under his watch.
While Farnham and Crippes are no longer with the sheriff's department, they have moved on to other important positions. Farnham is an Edgar County board member and Crippes is working for the Illinois secretary of state.
Perry and Coles counties faced similar issues. Then-Coles County Sheriff Darrel Cox sold seized guns in spite of a court order requiring disposal of the weapons, Allen wrote, adding that State's Attorney Brian Bower did nothing but send him a letter telling him to stop it. Cox is now retired and receiving a taxpayer-paid pension.
Allen argued that this pattern of activity -- or lack thereof -- undermines public confidence in law enforcement. This mindset also affects the legal system when state's attorneys who condone illegal activities become judges, he wrote.