Let’s get back to the local scene!
What is wrong with prosecutors?
While our Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office goes after a Campton Hills Trustee for a decades old out-of-state DUI, their Lake County compatriots essentially handed Robert Crimo, Jr. a free pass. That plea bargain sentence doesn’t even rise to the level of a “slap on the wrist.”
Sixty days in jail for being the proximate cause of seven homicides? I suffered more for being an innocent Unabom investigation suspect.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Crimo, Jr. is the father of Robert Crimo III, the Highland Park shooter who killed seven and wounded 14 during the city’s 2022 Fourth of July parade. And the only reason this piece of human excrement had an assault rifle is his father signed on the FOID card application’s dotted line, despite being abundantly aware of the risks involved.
Those dangers included a son who repeatedly threatened to commit suicide, threatened his family with a machete, and openly discussed shooting up a school.
Crimo, Jr. was originally charged with seven felony counts of reckless conduct, which could’ve, and should’ve, sent him to the slammer for up to 21 years. But even though Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart and his ASA’s possessed a classic reckless conduct case, they settled for the defendant pleading guilty to seven misdemeanors, and a 60-day jail and two-year probation sentence.
So, instead of sending a clear message to idiot parents who think it’s OK to enable their overly entitled progeny to kill people, the LCSAO essentially said, “Buy your unstable Lake County kid a gun and if something goes wrong, we got your back!”
I realize this statement borders on the reckless, but since I have nothing to fear from Lake County prosecutors, had one of my family members been a victim of Crimo III’s murderous rampage, given this absurd perversion of justice, his father would suddenly have a lot more to worry about than two months in jail.
Though I have absolutely no evidence of any impropriety, given the impossibility of this plea, I fiercely want to believe that some sort of bribe was involved because that would actually make sense.
It’s clearly time for Mr. Rinehart to go, and I’d love to be the campaign manager who sends him packing. I’d do it for the friends and family rate, too. Highland Park attorneys! You know where to find me.
What a complete and utter travesty.
Calumet City tickets a reporter?
Granted it doesn’t rise to the level of Marion, Kansas, where the local gendarmes raided a small newspaper confiscating their computers. That one cost the police chief his job. But ticketing a Daily Southtown reporter for “asking too many questions?” That’s right up there with “it’s a witch hunt!”
While we’re at it, let’s also stipulate that Calumet City, the citation issuing municipality, is where good governance goes to die. Calumet City is proof positive that black folks can be every bit as corrupt and incompetent as their Caucasian counterparts.
But ticketing reporter Hank Sanders for “harassing city staff?” That’s a new one. The fascinating “violation” notices reads thusly:
Despite all FOIA requests being filled, Hank Sanders continues to contact city departments and city employees via phone and email. Despite requests from Calumet City attorneys to stop calling city departments and employees, Hank Sanders continues to do so.
The scurrilous cad! It continues:
Between the dates of October 4th and October 12th Hank Sanders sent fourteen (14) emails to the city of Calumet City referencing the recent flooding. Hank Sanders FOIA request had been filled and city attorneys requested that he stop contacting City Hall.
Egad! Fourteen emails? The man’s even worse the Vladimir Putin!
I don’t know about you, but, unlike most journalists these days, it sounds like Mr. Sanders was actually doing his job. And 1.75 emails a day? That’s hardly the stuff of All the President’s Men legend.
Calumet Mayor Thaddeus Jones, who’s under investigation for tax fraud as a result of series of Tribune reports (the Trib owns the Southtown), dug himself into an even deeper whole when he tried to justify the fine by insisting that Sanders go through City spokesperson Sean Howard for any staff comment.
Mayor Jones! They’re called “public” and not “private” officials for a reason. And I tend to avoid spokespeople like the plague because they’ve been trained to talk in circles, obfuscate, and often lie.
Ah! But once it became a national news story, Calumet City dropped the complaint like it’s hot, though the self-inflicted damage was already done. The only scenario more ironic than this one is the time Kane County Chronicle “reporter” Brenda Schory demanded that I stop emailing her. I just laughed.
Not that someone of my immense media stature would ever seriously suggest weaponizing the law in this heinous a manner, but were I in Mr. Sanders’ shoes, the first thing I’d do is read up on the FOIA nuisance statute. Once I was clear on that, I’d issue the kind of budgetary FOIA request that was reasonable enough to avoid the “overly burdensome” exemption, but detailed enough that it would take days to fill.
Then I’d issue a second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and so on until they tried to stop me, at which point I’d resort to the Attorney General’s office to force them to comply. Then I’d issue the eight, ninth, tenth, and so forth, and so on.
That would be the last time Calumet City ever ticketed a journalist.