Quick Hits – Chairman Lauzen bows out of the race!

As The First Ward previously indicated, at a 2 p.m. press conference at Fiora’s in downtown Geneva, Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen formally announced his withdrawal from the GOP chairmanship primary in favor of Treasurer Dave Rickert.

Both men briefly spoke, they shook hands, and Lauzen handed Rickert a $5,000 check to kick off his campaign.

After almost 28 years as an elected official, The Chairman said that he will serve out his  term and then remain active in local politics by supporting competent candidates both financially and with his legendary campaign ethic.

Chris & Dave

But why listen to me ramble on when we have the Chairman’s own words:

“These past eight years have been peaceful, productive, and prosperous in Kane County in terms of both consistently high-quality services delivered to constituents and respectful restraint on the size of government for taxpayers.

Kane County has kept the three commitments that I made to you eight years ago to freeze county-related property tax levies, to treat people respectfully, and to foster management best practices. Together we have accomplished what we set out to do by reversing the trajectory of large property tax levy increases to fund Kane County, i.e. from 50% in increases for seven years to frozen at zero for eight years.

We run the county and forest preserve with less property taxes than we did eight years ago. During my time as elected Chairman and chief administrator, we have paid down our public debt by 70%. Our public employee pension obligation is fully-funded at 95%. And, we have maintained our credit rating at AA+, equal to the U.S. Government and Exxon-Mobil Corporation.

Dave Rickert, our CPA County Treasurer, has been a strong ally in producing these results.

Despite the rancor, distraction, bloat, and incongruities that we see at state and federal government levels, Kane County represents an oasis of management competence and relative calm. Let’s keep it that way!

On a personal note, I feel strong, energetic, and engaged. Working 45-50 hour weeks serving others is a great privilege and pleasure professionally and politically for me. I intend to continue to work, using my public service and political experience, for at least another 10 to 15 years.

However, now is the time to place collective interests of our taxpayers and constituents ahead of individual ambitions of politicians who are supposed to serve them. Competent management performance and unity are our proper objectives. For the next 4-8-12 years in political terms, we need to assure those whom we serve that we will work together to provide county leadership that sustains the trajectory set during these past eight years.

Therefore, instead of running for a third 4-year term, I am endorsing Dave Rickert for Republican nominee for Kane County Chairman and will enthusiastically work for his election on November 3, 2020. In “absolute” experience terms, Dave has worked diligently for 20 years on the front line with taxpayers and constituents to make Kane County a place that we are all proud to call home. In “relative” political and governmental preparedness terms, neither of his Democrat opponents has proper attitude toward taxpayers, adequate stature, nor professional management experience in order to protect taxpayer and constituent interests. Dave has all three.

I intend to remain very active politically, especially in Kane County and Illinois, and have one more year to serve directly as Kane County elected board chairman and help in an important transition of responsibility. It’s OK to give someone else a turn to lead.”

 

Quick Hits – It’s time to pay attention to judicial appointments!

Alright! Without further ado, let’s continue with what was supposed to be a part of yesterday’s Quick Hits! And I’m still way too long-winded!

You certainly wouldn’t know it from the local papers, but tomorrow (1/15), our elected judges will choose two associate judge finalists, one of whom will replace retired Judge Linda Abrahamson.

While our local men and women in black may not affect our lives nearly as much as those vaunted Supreme Court Justices do, it would be a serious mistake to underestimate their import. Judge John Dalton has taken great delight in destroying families just because he can, while Judge Bill Parkhurst has had the kind of positive effect on people that’s just short of magical.

judicial appointments

Just like those far-reaching gravitational waves created by the collision or two distant neutron stars, those courtroom ripples have an inexorably profound effect on our lives. Destroyed family members go on to wreak their own brand of havoc, while those shown mercy, guidance, and wisdom tend to pay it forward.

It’s nothing more than a simple matter of cause and effect.

So, not only will our new judge’s leanings and courtroom comportment be critical, but the Kane County judiciary should reflect the people they serve.

Oh! I can hear my conservative friends now! “So, a black, Hispanic, or female judge is automatically more qualified than the white male variety?” Of course not! But very little good ever comes from any law enforcement arm that fails to adequately represent our increasingly diverse populace.

Have you ever been to a Geneva, Illinois, Branch Court traffic call? Despite that community coming in at 95 percent Caucasian, without fail, 60 to 70 percent of the folks sitting in those chairs will be black, Hispanic, and Asian-Indian.

The reason that tacit bias regularly occurs is, of 35 sworn Geneva officers, just one is Hispanic, and just one is black. And when you’ve had nothing but negative minority experiences, it only reinforces an already insidious lack of perspective.

To further exacerbate this incredible imbalance, as often as I’ve walked those judicial center corridors, I have yet to encounter a single black prosecutor. For all I know they’re may be one or two, but like Bigfoot, I haven’t found any evidence of their existence.

And our judiciary isn’t much better. Of our 30 current circuit and associate judges:

  • 21 are male
  •   9 are female
  •   4 are Hispanic
  •   1 is Asian-Indian, and
  •   0 are black

In a county that’s 57 percent white, 33 percent Hispanic, 6 percent black, and 50.2 percent female, there’s certainly room for improvement there!

So, at a time when the Motion Picture Academy is being vilified for failing to nominate just one female best director candidate, my response to those conservative friends would be, “You mean to tell me there isn’t a single qualified black attorney in all of Kane County? And male attorneys are generally twice as good as their female counterparts?”

Considering their argument and those judicial statistics, those are the only conclusions that could possibly support that logic.

As to dismissing the latter count, for the last five years, my favorite friends have been almost exclusively female attorneys, because they have to be tough as nails, they develop an amazing sense of humor just to survive the job, and they have to be twice as smart as their male counterparts to succeed.

Put more simply, I wouldn’t have a problem with a slate of solely female judges.

But the truth is, we need judges who not only reflect their constituency, but who’ve experienced a wide variety of legal possibilities. We’ve already had more than our share of former prosecutors who’ve never touched a defense table, never tried a civil case, and never been a part of a successful private practice.

Some erudite attorneys insist that, since they’ve seen a slew of state’s attorney abuses, former prosecutors often turn out to be the most liberal. And because former public defenders have seen the worst of our criminal offenders, they often become the most severe judges

There’s certainly some truth to those thoughts, but it certainly hasn’t been my experience. Despite some obvious exceptions, I’d say it’s much more of leopard being stuck with their spots dynamic.

But back to our newest potential judge.

Three names have consistently come up in conversation, with one recently pulling away from the pack – KCSAO chief felony prosecutor Bill Engerman. Simply on its face, another white male prosecutor would be a poor choice, but when you consider the man himself, it becomes an exceptionally poor choice.

To be fair, I’ve learned that Engerman’s dismissal from the DeKalb State’s Attorney’s Office came in great part as a result of then State’s Attorney Clay Campbell’s jealousy over his ASAs favoring him for advice. We’ve all experienced bosses like that.

But that doesn’t mitigate the complaints from the women in that office, and it certainly doesn’t explain his need to regularly berate female Kane County prosecutors to the point where he earned the nickname “Angryman.” And I’ve heard those stories directly.

Furthermore, Engerman has never been anything but a prosecutor, and the biggest rap against him is it’s too easy to make him lose his cool in court, which doesn’t bode well for a judicial future.

But instead of beating them over the head this time, I’m simply going to ask our full circuit judges to not only to consider those obsolete “traditional qualifications,” but the candidates’ overall merit and what a truly representative judiciary should look like. Put more simply I’m asking them to make a wise and not expedient choice.

After all, there are a number of female attorneys who’ve earned that coveted “Highly Recommended” Kane County Bar Association endorsement!

As for the rest of us, while we love to focus on national politicians who have little local effect, we ignore judicial elections and appointments because they’re not nearly as fascinating. It’s clearly time for that to change.

 

Quick Hits – January 13, 2020

On ye of little faith!

So, you bleeps actually had the nerve to believe that Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen would give the Daily Herald a real story? Worse yet, you thought he’d grant it to Jim Fuller, the most biased reporter in all of Illinois?

Yeah right! And I’m goin’ on a date with former Chairman Karen McConnaughay next weekend, too! Oh, holy crap! Simply typing that sentence scared the bejesus out of me. Let’s not do that again!

Meanwhile, despite all you doubters, I’ve stuck by the same story I formally put forth just after all that 2020 nominating paperwork was submitted, and almost a full two months after the fact, the DH finally catches on? Fuller may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but even he must realize that when Lauzen recently said his third term is “up in the air,” it means he ain’t runnin’!

And it was pretty obvious because it’s been a brilliant political strategy right from the start!

Lauzen

Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen

First, the specter of another lop-sided Lauzen victory kept the usual Republican reprobates like County Board members Mike Kenyon and Mark Davoust out of the primary. Despite accomplishing absolutely nothing throughout a series of multiple terms, those two self-entitled slackers somehow think they’re prime chairmanship material.

Second, it staved off the possibility of a far more worthy Democrat entering the fray for the very same reason – they knew they couldn’t win. Now, with all the cards on the table, Lauzen and Rickert know that Democratic challengers Greg Ellsbree and Corinne Pierog, don’t have a shot in hell.

Kane County will never elect a union treasurer chairman, and Pierog’s a terrible candidate who’s lost more campaigns than the Italian Army.

Add third, now the Dem’s central campaign plank consisting of how Lauzen regularly hurts their feelings no longer matters!

As I’ve been saying all along will announce his retirement from active politics right before the January 15 ballot withdrawal deadline leaving Rickert with an open field. And I’m eminently willing to take four-figure bets from any reader who doesn’t share my keen perception of the obvious.

Come to think of it, what’s Jim Fuller’s cellphone number? I bet I could take him for five figures!

 

I got your ethics violation right here!

While I’m certainly loathe to interrupt Bill and Ted’s excellent ethical Elgin adventure, I fervently feel it’s my civic duty to point out that “political activists,” Jose Bosque and Anthony Ortiz, managed to miss the biggest moral lapse of all.

Oh! And if you’re wondering what I meant by “political activists,” that would be the two Elgin men who clearly have too much time on their hands.

Lopez

Baldemar Lopez

Unlike the disingenuous complaints Bosque and Ortiz filed against Elgin City Councilmen Terry Gavin and Rose Martinez, this one has some statutory teeth, too! You see, despite being two long weeks after the 2019 deadline, Elgin City Councilman Baldemar Lopez still hasn’t to filed his annual Economic Interest Statement.

Why, I diligently checked the Kane County Clerk’s EIS portal to discover only the following publicly employed Elgin Lopezes had complied:

 

  • David
  • Rodrigo
  • Karen
  • Lori Ann
  • Maria, and
  • Laura

but there was nary a Baldemar in sight, and it’s kind of a hard name to miss, too. And the fact that I magnanimously warned our intrepid alderman of the impending due date in early December makes this scurrilously delinquent act that much worse!

Now, before you get too terribly excited about it, as it stands right now, the penalty for failing to file a timely EIS is a mere 15 bucks. But after May 1, the State gets a wee bit more serious by exacting a $100 a day surcharge.

And we all know why Lopez hasn’t submitted the form, now don’t we? The First Ward caught our Springfield lobbyist in three separate 2018 EIS lies, and if he doesn’t bother to answer the same 2019 questions, then he won’t have to resort to deceit again, will he?

The only other option is to admit he’s a lobbyist – in print.

So, Wayne and Garth… I mean Jose and Anthony! Since I’m convinced you don’t want your six Facebook followers to start thinking you’re nothing more that a couple of hypocritical blowhards, I’m sure you’ll be filing another ethics complaint against Lopez later this week.

I can hardly wait!

 

A Judicial Center happy ending?

Apparently, it does happen on rare occasion! And since I infinitely bitch about that morass at Route 38 and Peck Road, it would be more than disingenuous for me not to report a scenario that turned out exactly as it should have.

Though when you think about it, the fact that I feel an obligation to note when normalcy reins is a clear indication of just how rare that condition is at the judicial center.

On October 17, we covered the errant behavior of the daughter of the already-incarcerated Geneva doctor who was on trial for sexual assault. That conduct included nodding at the jury, verbally confronting the victim in the hallway, and asking prosecutor Greg Sams if he was “nervous.”

Again, it’s not the kind court comportment I’d generally recommend, but compared to what I’ve seen and heard over the last 13 years, it’s beyond benign.

To wit, I watched a woman go after her exe’s new flame with such zeal she was remanded to a jail cell. I’ve seen defendant’s families lash out at felony Judges in such a manner that it makes me look like a member of the English Royal Family. And I’ve been regaled with tales of various items being flung at judges such that they had to duck.

But instead of simply chalking it up to the stress of watching her father be convicted again, due to a particularly dire anatomical deficiency, Sams just had to make a big deal out of it by complaining to Judge John Barsanti. Apparently, it isn’t enough for some ASAs to wield the full power of the people with all of the associated resources that go along with it.

So, former Kane County State’s Attorney Barsanti, never failing to forget about those prosecutorial roots, went along with Sams’ hissy fit by finding her in contempt of court, which is the moral equivalent of trying to kill a mosquito with an M114 155-millimeter howitzer.

Barsanti.jpg

Judge John Barsanti

 

But then, intent on being her own worst enemy, this woman failed to show up for the contempt hearing, and we all know that when you ignore the men and women in the black dress, bad things tend to happen.

That said, as previously stipulated, this story does have a happy ending. Our wayward daughter finally managed to make it to court where she read a letter of apology to Judge David Kliment who appropriately admonished her and sent her on her way. Problem solved!

“But Jeff! How the heck did she wind up in front of Kliment?”

Oh! That’s easy! In an effort to resolve what this journalist believed to be an utterly unnecessary complication, I privately reached out to Judge Barsanti to suggest the current equitable outcome. Though I certainly wouldn’t consider it an “ex partee” communication because I got no response and I had no dog in the hunt, apparently that was enough to throw it into another courtroom, which, in the end, really wasn’t a bad idea.

Oh! And that reminds me! If I ever contact you covertly to settle a situation, my suggestion would be that thank your lucky stars and be grateful enough to respond to a perk that I rarely offer anymore. Just a thought!

But to be fair, the folks involved do deserve credit for standing down.

 

Holy crap! I got two more stories to go and I’m already at almost 1,200 words. When did I get this freakin’ long winded? We’ll have to continue this conversation tomorrow!

 

Quick Hits – Elgin’s Beavis and Butthead strike back!

Apparently miffed that Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain’s proposed ethics ordinance would make it virtually impossible for their boy, Baldemar Lopez, to serve on the City Council, self-proclaimed “citizen activists” Jose Bosque and Anthony Ortiz struck back by filing ethics complaints against Councilpeople Terry Gavin and Rose Martinez.

Never mind that Lopez’ gig as a registered Springfield lobbyist would bar him from a Chicago aldermanic seat, and the Second City ain’t exactly renowned for taking heroic ethical stands.

So, our dynamic duo’s first course of action was to FOIA Gavin’s city emails and, be still my beating heart, they found a March missive extolling the virtue of certain city council candidates.

That’s it?

When you consider his fascinating antics, if best thing you can come up with on Councilman Gavin is an errant email, then you’re not really trying. On the standardized Gavin ethical lapse scale of one to ten, that email comes in at about a negative 8.

Beavis and Butthead

But the truly hilarious irony is, having to review thousands of Gavin emails can only be considered the kind of cruel and unusual punishment that should immediately be banned by the UN. C’mon! He had to be half in the bag for most of ‘em.

Never one to simply smile and let stupidity go, Gavin proclaimed, “I’ve discussed it with lawyers, and I’ve been told its not electioneering.”

If that’s really the case Terry, then your “legal team” clearly consists of graduates from that halcyon Elgin institution, Vito’s School of Beauty and Legal Emporium, because it is patently illegal to send a city email endorsing any candidate, and you will be fined for doing so.

And just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, it does!

Bosque and Ortiz continued their crusade by complaining that, since she was a U-46 school bus driver at the time, Martinez should have recused herself from a vote on a proposed school bus depot on Chicago Street. Why, they the temerity to say the scurrilous Martinez had the cojones to take 10 grand in campaign contributions from sandwich giant Jimmy John’s, who later sought parking restrictions near their downtown Elgin location.

The problem with their first theory is, Martinez wasn’t there for the bus depot vote, but even if she was, what did she have to gain? A firm pat on the back from U-46 CEO Tony Sanders for taking part in what turned out to be a unanimous vote?

Tony may be a great guy, but I wouldn’t even drive half-a-block for that “perk.”

In yet another massive irony, when someone pointed out that Councilman Carol Rauschenberger also toils for U-46, Bosque and Ortiz were rendered completely speechless, a momentous occasion which immediately improved their community standing by a factor of 10.  Rest assured, dear readers, the Nobel Prize committee won’t be looking into those two any time soon.

As for the Jimmy John’s “scandal,” Those contributions came from the sandwich chain’s founder’s parents, not owner James Liautaud himself. That means there’s absolutely no conflict of interest.

And please think about it! Ten thousand dollars to secure parking limitations? That may well be the worst case of overspending since Kim Kardashian paid 50 grand for that gold-plated Kanye West Chia Pet. The Liautauds could’ve bought and sold Councilmen Tish Powell and Corey Dixon for just ten bucks a pop.

Which reminds me! Hey, Corey! When’s your next vote buying…I mean free giveaway event? I can’t wait!

But believe it or not, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee aren’t nearly the worst part of this story. Nope! That would be the fact that the Daily Herald actually chose to cover their beyond specious tit-for-tat complaints.

I’d say Elena Ferarrin would be the hands down winner of the 2020 “Most Lethargic Reporter in Kane County” award, but Harry Hitzeman and Jim Fuller also deserve serious consideration.

What’s next DH? Reporting that little Suzy called little Jimmy a “doodiehead” during the finger-painting segment of a U-46 kindergarten class? I can’t wait!

All that said, given my eminently bright and cheery nature, let’s all do our best to look on the bright side! Every village needs an idiot and Elgin clearly has two! Well, three if you count Councilman Gav… Oh crap! I think I just completely contravened my New Year’s resolution to be a little nicer!

Ah well! There’s always 2021!

Quick Hits – A silk purse out of a sow’s ear?

According to the great Mark Twain, “There are three kinds of lies; lies, damn lies, and Judge John Dalton.” Well, that wasn’t exactly what he said, but it’s close enough. In response to his recent relegation to the lowliest of all civil courtrooms, Dalton posted this on social media:

After over four and a half years trying to help struggling families in often contentious parentage cases, it was announced last night that when our new associate judge joins us in mid February [sic], I will be moving back to the lovely, historic Third Street Courthouse to hear civil cases, which offer the opportunity to preside over jury trials, a long held goal of mine. I am very pleased about this change.

Clearly the Judge missed his calling as a smarmy Hallmark greeting card writer. Not even Donald Trump could compress that many untruths into a scant 72 words. So, let’s examine this abjectly insincere declaration!

Dalton 3

First, during his 4.5-year family court reign of terror, John Dalton destroyed and created more struggling families than Hurricane Sandy. Aside from presiding over the death of a two-year-old boy whose cause of death mysteriously remains undetermined months after his death, here are but a few of Dalton’s greatest hits:

  • He refuses to enforce his own rulings and laughs in desperate peoples’ faces as he does it
  • He makes up the law as he goes along
  • He’s a bigot who’s exceptionally hard on Hispanics and blacks
  • He plays to the courtroom gallery consistently looking for reactions
  • He granted unsupervised shared custody to a father who was out on bond for threatening to kill his ex-wife – twice
  • He granted unsupervised shared custody to a women with a series of arrests for public intoxication

And my personal favorite, when a mother showed Dalton a text in which her ex claimed to be masturbating in bed next to their two-year-old daughter, his response was “Do you know how many parents have sex in the same room as their children?”

So, let’s just dispense with the blatant “help struggling families in often contentious parentage cases” mendaciousness.

Moving on to the “the lovely, historic Third Street Courthouse!” It may look good on the outside, but on an 18-degree day like this one, half the courtrooms will register a bonny 34 degrees while rest will be roasting at the 98 mark. And air conditioning? That’s not exactly what I’d call it.

Let’s just say the interior of that building shows every bit of its 166 years. I certainly wouldn’t want to work there.

To be fair, when Dalton wrote he’d “hear civil cases” at Third Street, he actually was correct. See John! You can tell the truth if you really put your mind to it!

But as far as jury trials? Nope! Not in courtroom 250!  That’s where eviction and property arbitration cases are heard. A local attorney said he’s seen just one forcible eviction trial in 12 long years, and arbitration cases virtually never require a jury. That means Dalton might see one jury trial every two or three years.

But the best part about this demotion – and it is a demotion – is, unlike family court where most folks proceed pro se and know nothing about the judges, the majority of courtroom 250 cases are presented by attorneys. And since every Kane County attorney is well aware of Dalton’s sadistic nature, if they find themselves headed in his direction, they will immediately file an SOJ motion.

“SOJ” stands for “substitution of judge,” and every court bound Illinoisans has the statutory right to ask for a different judge before the proceeding commence – no questions asked. So, as you might imagine, John Dalton is going to be a very lonely man.

I’d generally compliment Chief Judge Clint Hull for this rather propitious maneuver, but the fact that he’s attempting to pay a rather hefty sum to the perpetually absent former Kane County Public Defender Kelli Childress just to shut her up kinda mutes that enthusiasm.

By the way, Judge Hull! The Public Defender’s job still isn’t posted on the County website, and yet you remain steadfast in your refusal to provide me with a reason. Perhaps we’ll discuss it at the January 16 Judicial and Public Safety meeting where I will be addressing those board members.

But back to the issue at hand.

John Dalton can spin this demotion any way he wants, but it won’t change the fact that he’s finally being exiled to a place where he can do the least possible amount of damage. And all I can say is, “Goodbye and good riddance.”

Quick Hits – Judges! The public is watching!

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!

Gavel 3

 

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.

 

Breaking News! Judge Dalton is being removed from family court.

Kane County Judge John Dalton’s family court reign of terror is almost over! On January 24th he will be moved to civil courtroom 250 which handles evictions and property arbitration cases. The 16th Circuit can’t get rid of him because he’s an elected judge, but this transfer can only be considered a major demotion for a judge of his tenure.

Dalton

What that means is, if you have a date in courtroom 101 before the 24th, then you or your attorney need to file a motion for a continuance ASAP so you get out from under this utter waste of flesh and appear before the as-yet-to-be-determined new family court judge.

It would seem that journalistic persistence, on occasion, actually pays off. We’ll be discussing this very necessary and positive turn of events in far greater detail tomorrow (1/7) or on Wednesday (1/8).