Fourteen thousand hits? To coin a phrase, I never thought I’d see the day that two pieces on the Kane County judiciary would hit those lofty heights. That’s a new single day record and it’s three times better than any local newspaper article could ever hope to do.
And it’s not me, it’s you! You, the reader, are the key to a Kane County judiciary that chooses to be responsive and responsible to the people they purport to serve. One independent journalist covering their continuing capers from his home office? Yeah right! That and four bucks will get you a small cup of coffee at Starbucks!
It took two long years of coverage, listening to some real family court horror stories, and performing a fascinating due diligence before Judge John Dalton was moved out of family court and demoted. And, trust me, it is a demotion for a full circuit judge to be transferred to room 250 where eviction and arbitration cases are heard. Most circuit judges of his tenure are sitting in felony or family courtrooms.
The only reason Chief Judge Clint Hull finally dealt with Dalton, a miserable excuse for a human being, is because you, the reader, picked up that baton and ran with it to the point where the national press caught on.
C’mon! These judges aren’t afraid of me. It’s only when they realize you’re paying attention that this beyond lopsided dynamic starts to change. And it has changed. But this is only the beginning.
Before we continue, it would patently unfair to cast all Kane County judges into that poisonous Dalton mold. So, an effort to bring some balance to the force, here’s a list of 16th Circuit judges who do the black robe proud. In no particular order:
- Rene Cruz
- Sal LoPiccolo Jr.
- Elizabeth Flood
- Bill Parkhurst
- D. J. Tegeler
- Robert Villa
- Todd Tarter
- Mark Phaenis
- Charles Peterson
- Julia Yetter
Judges on the bubble:
- John Barsanti
- Marmarie Kostelny
- Kevin Busch
New judges with promise:
- Brad David
- Julio Cesar Valdez
Beyond my own experience, I polled a number of local attorneys to derive that list.
Every profession is plagued with folks who do it a disservice, but when you consider 13 out of the 28 16th Circuit judges aren’t fit to serve, it’s a truly frightening proposition.
But now that you have their full and undivided attention, we’ll be discussing some of these judges in far greater detail. That short list includes John Barsanti, Divya Sarang, Alice Tracy, Michael Noland, a possible change of heart regarding Kevin Busch, and of course, there’s much more on Chief Judge Clint Hull,
I’m already looking into one of Judge Joe Grady’s more inexplicable custody decisions, and I understand the word he’d use to refer to the likes of me would be “buffoon.” Fascinating! Judicial Center sources are an amazing thing and I can’t tell you how just much I appreciate each and every one of them.
Judge Grady! Please spare yourself any further embarrassment and retire.
We’re not nearly done with John Dalton, either. He may be headed to a courtroom which will greatly mitigate the opportunities to exact his unique brand of sadistic damage, but he’s still a judge. However, considering current events, with your continued efforts, that too will change.
Put more simply, you just put those judges on notice. Now they know you’re watching!
My promise to you is I won’t be silenced. I will continue to tell your stories. The Geneva Police, State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, and Judge Hull have all given it their best shot, but I’m still here. And every time they apply another abuse of power, it only hardens my resolve.
Lastly, please don’t let this Dalton victory go to your heads because there’s so much more to be done. In the words of the great Albert Camus, keeping this “plague” at bay requires a constant vigilance:
And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. 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.