You can’t ignore me, Joe!
Apparently, I’m off Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon’s Christmas card list! How do I know this? Because his office has gone from illegally denying my FOIA requests to outright ignoring them.
That’s right! As a result of getting around their last FOIA denial by running a female prosecutor’s formal sexual harassment complaint verbatim, in a fit of pique, McMahon and Civil Division chief, Joe Lulves, are simply pretending I don’t exist.
My wife tries that strategy all the time, and as you might imagine, it doesn’t work! I call it the “ostrich defense.”
And why not? When the Illinois Attorney General inevitably orders the KCSAO to cough up the goods, there are no statutory sanctions for ignoring their edict, either. Ultimately, I will have to get a Kane County judge to enforce that order.
If I’m fortunate enough to get a good judge, he’ll force the KCSAO’s hand right away, but the more likely outcome will be months of continuations and delay. They might even be able to forestall the release of those records until after McMahon’s 2020 reelection campaign.
You see, though I have no hard evidence yet, I’m convinced there’s a settlement and non-disclosure agreement between yet another groped female former prosecutor and the KCSAO. Prosecutor McGropy was a very busy man!
Why do I suspect this? Because that former prosecutor’s father confronted me when he thought I was writing about his daughter. Ironically, I had no clue she was one of the victims until he reached out.
First, I thought it was odd that a father was fighting his 40-something daughter’s battles. Second, when I asked him why he’d defend the very people who’d so “traumatized” her, he said they were happy with the KCSAO complaint outcome and they didn’t want me getting involved.
It took me awhile to put two and two together, but the only logical reason for that kind of response is there was some kind of settlement and non-disclosure agreement. And if I wrote about it, that could jeopardize their agreement and void any deal.
So, why would the KCSAO ignore this FOIA request instead of simply denying it like all the others? Because any governmental agreement that includes taxpayer dollars is subject to the Freedom of Information Act – no exceptions. Coming up with another BS refusal excuse would be too obvious even for them.
I’ve repeatedly called Lulves, sent him follow up emails, and left two voicemails for his administrative assistant, but despite the fact they’re six days late, the silence is deafening.
All I can say is, the level of arrogance required to flip the legal bird in this fashion is absolutely astonishing.
Most of us dismiss those “boring” ancillary high school and college classes as meaningless to our adult existence. But I gotta tell ya, whether it’s Soren Kierkegaard, Jean Paul Sartre, Mark Twain, J. D. Salinger, Harper Lee, or Albert Camus, those literature and philosophy courses continue to have a massive effect on my life.
The next thing you know, I’ll start using geometry again!
I’ve said it before, but Camus’ brilliant novel, ‘The Plague,’ is more relevant today than when I read it in 1975 for Mrs. Harding’s English class. Here’s one one my all-time favorite ‘The Plague’ quotes:
“I know positively – yes Rieux, I can say I know the world inside out as no one on earth is free from it. And I know too that we must keep endless watch on ourselves lest in careless moment we breathe in somebody’s face and fasten the infection on him. What’s natural is the microbe. All the rest- health integrity purity if you like – is a product of the human will of vigilance that must never falter.
The good man the man who infects hardly anyone is the man who has the fewest lapses of attention. And it needs tremendous will-power a never ending tension of the mind to avoid such lapses. Yes Rieux, it’s a wearying business being plague-stricken. But it’s still more wearying to refuse to be it. That’s why everybody in the world today looks so tired everyone is more or less sick of plague. But that is also why some of us who want to get the plague out of their systems feel such desperate weariness a weariness from which nothing remains to set us free except death.”
I still get goosebumps when I read that passage!
The book, published in 1947, uses a fictional plague in Oran, Tunisia, as an allegory for the recent Nazi occupation of France. And the theme throughout the existentialist work is, like the rats inexplicably dying in the street of a North African city were ignored, it’s critical that we see the signs of the worst of humanity before they spread like a plague
I’ve certainly taken the long way home here, but because of you, dear readers, the Illinois Youth Center is on a level one lockdown, which greatly restricts the movement of the “residents.” It’s the first step in finally bringing that facility under control.
You see, the truth is, simply writing about this imploding institution isn’t enough. The fact that you paid attention is what makes the difference. Of course, it will require far more due diligence to correct the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, but we’re off to a pretty good start.
Put more simply, thank you for your vigilance! I’ll leave you with the final paragraph from ‘The Plague:’
“He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.”
Don’t be the plague!