Man Indicted in Stock Manipulation Scheme

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Silicon Valley Streaming Service Executive Indicted in Alleged “Pump and Dump” Stock Fraud Scheme  

CHICAGO — A former executive of a Silicon Valley video streaming service has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago for allegedly engaging in a “pump and dump” stock fraud scheme.

While serving as a director of San Jose, Calif.-based Nanotech Entertainment Inc. (“NTEK”), DAVID FOLEY schemed with an investment manager to manipulate purchases and sales of shares in NanoTech Gaming Inc. (“NTGL”), a Las Vegas, Nev.-based business that had formerly operated as a division of NTEK, according to a ten-count indictment returned Jan. 11, 2021, in U.S. District in Chicago. 

The indictment charges Foley, 55, of Los Gatos, Calif., and the investment manager, BENNIE BLANKENSHIP, 49, of New Carlisle, Ohio, with wire fraud and securities fraud.  Arraignments are scheduled for Jan. 19, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., before U.S. District Judge Steven C. Seeger.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Getter.

According to the indictment, Foley acquired shares in NTGL and fraudulently caused them to be unrestricted. 

Blankenship promoted the NTGL shares by exaggerating the stock’s prospects for success, thereby artificially inflating the share price, the indictment states. 

Foley then schemed with others to sell the pumped-up stock to the investing public, the indictment states. 

The fraud scheme lasted from 2013 to 2016, and during a portion of that time Foley was incarcerated in California on an unrelated criminal conviction, the indictment states.


The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

New State Reps. Suzanne Ness & Martin McLaughlan Sworn In

Two new State Representatives represnting McHenry County were sworn into office today.

From Democrat Suzanne Ness comes this press release:

Ness Sworn In, Reaffirms Pledge to Lift Up Small Businesses and Families, Restore Public Trust with Ethics Reform

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Following the Inauguration of the 102nd General Assembly, state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, highlighted her plans to boost the economy, address skyrocketing property taxes and work for good government reforms.

“As a small business owner, I understand firsthand the impact the COVID-19 health crisis has/had on the economy. Businesses across our state are in dire need of assistance. To hear the needs of business owners and community leaders directly, I plan to host regular economic development roundtables with a focus on connecting business owners to resources they need, including grants and low interest loans to help pay bills. There will be difficult choices to be made to get our State back on the right track, and it is critical that the state invest in our business owners, especially during these difficult times.

“I prioritize speaking with residents directly about the issues that concern them by knocking on doors in local neighborhoods, and working with my colleagues in the General Assembly to build on what’s already been done, and further improve relationships so we can move forward in a
collaborative way. Putting Illinois on a path to success will require diverse ideas and solutions.

“It requires us to work together with common goals and shared values. I will work to foster that shared spirit.

“I know that leaders must work in good faith to build a government that Illinoisans can put their faith in. Nobody should be able to get rich by being an elected official. Actions speak louder than words, so I rejected the gold-plated perks offered to politicians by turning down a taxpayer funded pension. Our state is in serious need of ethics reform, and one of my top priorities is to restore public trust in government by working toward commonsense good government reforms.

“With our unfortunate milestone of reaching one million COVID-19 cases, it is important that our state be a leader in providing relief to residents. Our small businesses need help, and residents need strong leadership in navigating our new normal. I will work with state leaders to enact an aggressive and efficient vaccine distribution plan because I believe we have the capability to make this a reality.

“This year will be filled with hard work, and I am ready to address the challenges that lie ahead to get our state on more secure financial footing, freeze property taxes for homeowners and pass commonsense ethics reform.”

From Republican Marten McLaughlin:

Rep. McLaughlin Sworn In As 52nd District State Representative

Martin McLaughlin

SPRINGFIELD… State Representative Martin McLaughlin (R-Barrington Hills) enters his first term today as State Representative for the 52nd House District commencing the 102nd Illinois General Assembly. Rep. McLaughlin released the following statement:

“I am extremely honored and humbled to be sworn in today as your State Representative.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve our great community in Springfield.

“Today marks a new era with long time Speaker, Mike Madigan, out of the picture.

“I decided to run for this position because Illinois is broken and a complete fiscal disaster.

“I have dedicated my career to solving pension and fiscal problems, and I hope to represent all of you in the 52nd District with honesty, integrity, and transparency.

“We have so much work to do in the 102nd General Assembly and I truly hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are actually ready for positive change in Springfield.

“Americans have suffered immensely this past year, business owners need relief, and Illinoisans need government responsibility now more than ever.

“I am ready to get to work!

“Thank you for the opportunity to be the fiscal watchdog we need.”

Teens Charged with Mob Action in Harvard

From the Harvard Polilce Department:


On 12-26-20 at 1500 hrs, Police responded to the 700 blk E Diggins St
regarding a disturbance.

It was reported a group of suspected Youths had confronted two Harvard Residents (m-42 yoa and f-39 yoa) in front of their residence with unknown types of weapons.

It was reported the youths fled the area on foot prior to police arrival.

A short time later Officers identified and arrested two Harvard Youths (m-17 yoa and m-14 yoa).

The two Harvard Youths were each charged with one count of Mob Action, Disorderly Conduct and Aggravated Assault.

The Harvard Youths were transported to the Kane County Juvenile Detention Center pending court.

IL-6: Casten on Trump Impeachment

From Congressman Sean Casten:

“For over two months, Donald Trump has used the powers of the presidency to wage a viral disinformation campaign to denigrate American democracy and overturn the results of an election he undisputedly lost. After 61 defeats in court, the President incited, abetted, and refused to call off a violent insurrection in the U.S. Capitol. As a result, six Americans are dead, dozens are wounded, and millions continue to be traumatized by images of domestic terrorists storming through the halls of Congress carrying Confederate flags, brutally attacking Capitol Police, and hunting for lawmakers to take hostage or worse. Every day, we find out more about this horrific attack, the additional lives that would have been in peril if not for the heroism of officers like Eugene Goodman, and the failure of this administration to expeditiously dispatch Federal law enforcement to respond to armed domestic terrorists mere months after Federal law enforcement’s violent use of force against peaceful protesters.

“When I took the oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, I never thought I would live to see our President foment an insurrectionist coup on our nation’s Capitol, let alone intentionally delay sending the National Guard to protect thousands against a mob that planted pipe bombs, brandished weapons, and sought to hang the Vice President. One week later, the President has expressed no regret or accountability. The President is unstable, unhinged, and dangerous. Every minute that President Trump is in office represents an imminent threat to the constitution, our democracy, and the American people. We are a nation of laws, and the President must be held to account for his crimes, immediately removed from office, and banned from holding federal office again.

“Many will argue that letting the clock run out on this administration will do more to heal our country than impeachment. This could not be further from the truth. If we ignore this attack and what caused it in the name of unity, the violence will only get worse. If we allow the President of the United States to incite this attack without consequence, we threaten the future of our democracy and the peaceful transfer of power on which it depends.

“When Benjamin Franklin was asked in 1787 what kind of government we would have, he answered, ‘A republic, if you can keep it.’ Two and a half centuries later, the future of our democratic republic hangs in the balance. If we do what is difficult but necessary, the nation will survive this crisis and emerge stronger. The question is, are we still a democracy? Let us answer in the affirmative. Today and always.”

Pritzker Praises Madigan

See the last paragraph of the following statement from Governor JB Pritzker:

Gov. Pritzker Statement on the Election of Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch as Speaker of the House

Springfield — Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement on the election of Representative Emanuel “Chris” Welch as Speaker of the House.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Representative Welch on his historic win as he becomes our state’s first Black Speaker of the House,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“Speaker Welch has a record of championing legislation that has improved the lives of hard working Illinoisans, and I have enjoyed working with him to move our state forward. As Governor, I believe strongly that it is incumbent upon me to work with the General Assembly’s leaders who are chosen by their caucuses, and I look forward to continuing to work with Speaker Welch on our shared agenda.”

“I also want to recognize Speaker Madigan for his decades of service to the state of Illinois.

“Years from now, when historians focus on the legacy of the General Assemblies he has led, they will see beyond this chapter to the many achievements in the fight to lift up working families and those most in need, and they will especially acknowledge the necessary firewall that was built in the fight against Governor Rauner’s destructive agenda.

Jeffrey Schwartz Nominated by Mike Buehler to Replace Chuck Wheeler on County Board

From McHenry County Board Chairman Mike Buehler:

Chairman Buehler Nominates Jeffrey Schwartz to Fill McHenry County Board Vacancy

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – McHenry County Board Chairman Michael Buehler has nominated Jeffrey Schwartz to fill the vacancy left in County Board District 4 by the late Chuck Wheeler.

Jeff Schwartz

Buehler, R-Crystal Lake, chose Schwartz, of rural McHenry, from a field of 10 applicants.

He called Schwartz, a longtime McHenry County resident and entrepreneur, a good fit for the County Board.

“Jeff Schwartz is a community anchor and job creator whose ability to work with others is well-known to the business community,” Buehler said.

“His insights into small business, manufacturing and job growth, forged by a lifetime of success, will make him a valuable addition to the County Board.”

Schwartz, a graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School, owns Schwartz Performance, in Woodstock, which employs 20 people who build muscle cars and their parts for customers worldwide.

Schwartz Performance chassis.

Prior to that, he was plant manager of General Kinematics in Crystal Lake, served as chairman of the McHenry County Industrial Council, and served on the McHenry County Economic Development Corp. Board and the McHenry County College Center for Economic Development’s Manufacturing Advisory Council.

An avid member of the motocross restoration and racing community, he founded the Schwartz Motocross History Museum, which is dedicated
to preservation and education of the sport.

The County Board will vote on Schwartz’s appointment at its next voting meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19. The meeting will be held virtually to comply with state COVID-19 capacity restrictions, and can be watched on the Meeting Portal on the county website at

Wheeler, who was first elected to the County Board in 2014, passed away Nov. 12.

District 4 covers Richmond and Burton Townships, and all but the southeastern corner of McHenry Township; it includes all or parts of McHenry, Johnsburg, Richmond, Spring Grove, McCullom Lake, Ringwood, Wonder Lake, Fox Lake and Lakemoor.

= = = = =

If approved by the Board, Schwartz will serve on these committees:

  • Public Health and Community Services Committee
  • Planning, Environment and Development Committee

Below is less than a minute on how a Schwartz car performs:

Dems Reward Trial Lawyers in End of Session Vote

From Steve Rauschenberger, President of the Technology & Manufacturing Association:

TMA President Steve Rauschenberger issued the following statement today in response to the General Assembly’s passage early this morning of HB 3360, legislation that will help trial attorneys by increasing litigation costs on Illinois businesses: 

“As the lame duck session was coming to an end, Springfield politicians again passed special interest legislation in the middle of the night that will make the cost of doing business in Illinois more expensive.

“As a parting gift to the trial lawyers, Speaker Mike Madigan pushed through HB 3360 which allows plaintiffs and their attorneys to charge 9% interest on any settlement or verdict starting from the date of the injury in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

“This legislation goes against long-standing law in Illinois and would open up business owners to additional costs at a time when many are already struggling due to COVID-19 and other regulatory actions by the state.

“We strongly encourage Governor Pritzker to veto it, and urge the General Assembly to focus this new legislative session on helping businesses thrive and create jobs instead of continuing to threaten them with added taxes and regulations.”

Rockford Man on Sex Offender List Charged with Child Porn by Feds

From the U.S. Attorney:

Rockford Man Indicted on Child Pornography Charges

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on charges of producing child pornography and committing felony sex offenses while he was required to register as a sex offender

Gary Wilson

GARY WILSON, 50, was charged with four counts of producing child pornography via the internet and one count of committing a felony offense involving a minor when he was required to be registered as a sex offender.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The Rockford Police Department assisted in the investigation.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael D. Love.

According to the indictment, between June 2018 and April 2019 Wilson knowingly enticed four minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct, and then transmitting the depiction via the internet.  The indictment also alleges that the production of child pornography by Wilson occurred while he was required to be registered as a sex offender.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  Each count of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison and a maximum of 30 years.  The count of committing a felony offense involving a minor carries a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years in federal prison that must be served after any sentence for production of child pornography is completed.

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Conditions of Bond to be Amended after January 5 Incident

Kyle Rittenhouse

“…as Mr. Rittenhouse has no membership, affiliation, or affinity for any of the identified groups, the defense has no objection to a bond modification prohibiting Kyle Rittenhouse from having any knowing contact with any known hate groups or their members.”

Late Wednesday night, media reports surfaced concerning Kyle Rittenhouse, and a motion submitted by Kenosha County prosecutors to modify Rittenhouse’s Conditions of Bond.

Here’s a capsule news report of prosecutors’ objections from WTMJ-TV, Milwaukee.

Mark D. Richards

Thursday morning, criminal defense attorney Mark D. Richards filed Rittenhouse’s response, while not objecting to the modifications, addressing the attempt to impugn his client:

Kyle Rittenhouse, by and through his attorney, Mark D. Richards, hereby responds to the State’s Motion to Modify Conditions of Bond as follows:

  1. Mr. Rittenhouse does not object to a bond condition prohibiting the possession or consumption of alcohol.
  2. Mr. Rittenhouse is not currently and has not ever been a member of any of the organizations the State lists in its motion.
  3. The known complainants in this matter are all Caucasian males.
  4. The State has done an extensive search of all of Mr. Rittenhouse’s social media as part of its investigation in this case. Upon information and belief, no information linking Mr. Rittenhouse to the listed organizations has been found.
  5. Additionally, the State has presented no evidence of Mr. Rittenhouse visiting any of the listed organizations’ websites.
  6. The State’s bond motion is a not-so-thinly veiled attempt to interject the issue of race into a case that is about a person’s right to self-defense.
  7. Nonetheless, as Mr. Rittenhouse has no membership, affiliation, or affinity for any of the identified groups, the defense has no objection to a bond modification prohibiting Kyle Rittenhouse from having any knowing contact with any known hate groups or their members.

The copy submitted to the court is here:

Kyle Rittenhouse’s Legal Defense Fund has thus far not issued any statement regarding January 5, or the attorneys’ filings to date.

Sheriff Introduces New Outreach Method

From the McHenry County Sheriff:

Sheriff’s Office Joins Neighbors App

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office is excited to be joining Neighbors by Ring in our efforts to improve the safety of our community.

Neighbors allows the community to share photos, videos, and information related to local crime and safety incidents so fellow residents can stay informed.

Neighbors will also allow the Sheriff’s Office to send instant information to residents about criminal activity or missing persons, provide educational and safety tips, and request information and videos from residents to help solve crimes.

The Sheriff’s Office can only view what residents have posted publicly to Neighbors and can respond with relevant updates or safety alerts to help residents stay informed.

When residents post videos or comment on Neighbors their identity remains anonymous.

You do not need a Ring device to join Neighbors.

Anyone with a smartphone can download the Neighbors App to
receive updates and have the option to post photos or videos from any device.

The Sheriff’s Office reminds the community to always report criminal activity by calling (815) 338-2144 or 911 for emergencies.

Johnsburg Considering Banning Leaf Burning

From the Village of Johnsburg:

Open Burning of Landscape Waste Survey

The Village receives several calls each year regarding the health and air quality issues associated with landscape waste burning.

At the current time, the Village enforces the regulations set forth by McHenry County regarding the burning of landscape waste.

Leaves are picked up at the curb in Richmond.

Some residents have expressed a desire to implement a Village wide leaf pickup program and eliminate leaf burning.

In order to help determine desired service levels related to landscape waste, please take a moment to provide your feedback on the following.

To help make a fully informed decision, the Village is conducting a survey of its resident to obtain input prior to making a decision on the matter.

Click here to participate in the survey.

Pritzker Reaction to Criminal Justice Bill’s Passage

From Governor JB Pritzker:

Gov. Pritzker Statement on the Passage of HB3653

Springfield — Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement following the passage of HB3653:

“I have long held that an essential mark of good governance is a willingness to change the laws that have failed the people of Illinois,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“This criminal justice package carries with it the opportunity to shape our state into a lesson in true justice for the nation by

  • abolishing cash bail, modernizing sentencing laws,
  • instituting a certification and decertification system for police officers statewide,
  • requiring body cameras,
  • reforming crowd control response, and
  • amplifying law enforcement training standards.

“I was proud to make ending cash bail and modernizing sentencing laws a legislative priority of my administration, and I have long pledged my support to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in their efforts to pass not just criminal justice reform and police accountability measures, but also to truly root out the systemic racism that pulses through all our nation’s institutions by pursuing greater equity in healthcare, higher goals in education, and deeper investments in economic opportunity for communities that have for too long been left out and left behind.

“In addition to recognizing the countless activists and advocates who have dedicated years – if not lifetimes – to pushing for change in a nation that locks people up at the highest rate in the world, I want to specifically offer my gratitude to Committee Chairs Representative Justin Slaughter and Senator Elgie Sims, Senator Robert Peters, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the ACLU of Illinois, the Coalition to End Money Bond, the Illinois Justice Project, the People’s Lobby, and all who have committed themselves to building a fairer and more equitable Illinois.”

Changes in the House Rules that Would Allow Ordinary Members To Be More than Digits

The deposing of Mike Madigan, dictator of the Illinois House brought to mind my first session in Springfield–1973.

Cal Skinner, Jr., campaigning in DeKalb with Listenijng Post in 1976.

W. Robert Blair, the Will County House Speaker who had gubernatorial ambitions which he thought would be fueled by of the Regional Transportation Authority’s creation, concentrated power in his hands, although not as much as Madigan has.

To win a second term against the challenge by Henry Hyde, Blair had to decentralize power.

It was decentralized so far that the Chairmen of the Appropriations Committee was allowed to hire their own staffers.

However, as important as getting rid of Madigan is changing the rules to allow ordinary members to have power (except for the last week of the session, which I think will always be controlled by the leaders).

There are way too many committees. 

People can’t serve well on more than three, I think, but the proliferation is a way Madigan has been able to hike salaries for members (because those who chair committees get extra cash). 

I think the large number of committees is a deliberate attempt to keep members from talking to each other and to Senators. 

If members have little time to converse, leaders have more control over the process.

In the seventies, I had time to get to know both Democrats and Republicans. 

One finds out that every member is there for some reason…even if one thinks it is not a good one. 

The House is truly a representative body. 

The nineties were dismal, under both Madigan and Daniels (more under Daniels from my perspective because Madigan did not find most of my bills a threat).

My first session was the second of Bob Blair’s.

He must have acted dictatorially.

In Henry Hyde’s challenge, I did not support him. 

Since I could count, I voted for Blair.  (Hyde had no chance of winning.)

However, the changes in rules led to the most decentralized General Assembly of my eight sessions. 

Apparently, supporters of Blair demanded changes for their support.

Other rule changes that would benefit ordinary members include

  • calling bills on the calendar in numeric order until all numbers called (even if it takes more than one day).  Now, no one has any idea when their bills might be called.  All power resides with the Speaker.
  • mandatory assignment to committee (within some period of time, maybe two days).  A Speaker should not be able to kill an idea by denying a chance for consideration.  (It seems to me that consideration should be mandated in committee, but I don’t know how to do that.)
  • majority vote to overrule the chair. Sometimes a ruling is so egregious that a majority disagrees.  Now I think a super-majority is required to override the Chair.  (I remember succeeding in such a motion when in the minority. Acting Speaker Ted Lechowicz was livid.)
  • no limit on the number of bills one can introduce or the number than can be considered on the floor.  Ideas do not spring equally from members.  There are always a number of folks who are just place sitters. 

Under Democratic Speakers, Chicago Democrats sat in the back row and called themselves the Order of the Mushroom.

They told people they werr kept in the dark and fed sh*t.

Machinations in Passage of Dems Criminal Justice Reform Bill

From commenter “Give us a break:”

Typical stunt by the Springfield Democrats.

For those unfamiliar with the way they (and this can apply to both sides of the aisle although with their super majority, the Democrats make the most use of it), here is what happened:

About a week ago one of the Chicago black caucus legislators filed a police reform bill.

After the bill is filed people/groups can file support or opposition to the bill.
After comment time expired she pulled the verbiage of the bill leaving only the heading.

This is a pretty common tactic particularly by majority party during lame duck sessions.

Lots of controversial legislation is inserted into a shell bill.

Called a shell bill.

File a bill to get a number and any heading you want to give it.

Then just hours before the lame duck session ends the sponsor throws their verbiage into the bill and it goes thru before the minority party can review it.

There is no time for the public to file support or opposition because that time expired during the original filing.

The title of the shell bill does not have to accurately describe what ends up in the actual bill.

The verbiage of the final bill does not have to be anything close to the original bill.

Using this method the original bill could have called for specific aid to children with cancer and received favorable comment.

The, presto changeo, the “new” guts in the bill triples the salary of every legislator and gets passed without any discussion.

This is how the dems got the police reform passed today.

At 3 am this morning the sponsor added her verbiage to her shell bill.

Over 700 pages.

The Senate then called for a vote at 4am.

At 3am was the first time anyone other than the dems had seen the bill.

Not that it mattered since the dems hold a super majority.

After the Senate passed the bill at 4am it went to the house and passed about 10am with no discussion allowed on the bill.

Gov Fatass said a couple of weeks ago he will sign any police reform bill the legislature sends him.

From the bits being made public now it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a good time to be in any type law enforcement job nor is it any good for law abiding people.

Skillicorn Thumbs Nose at Illinois on the Way to Arizona

From The Center Square:

Illinois lawmaker resigns after loss, drives through Springfield on way to new home in Arizona

(The Center Square) – Even Illinois’ legislature isn’t immune to population loss to other states. 

As the 101st General Assembly wraps up, they’re without state Rep. Allen Skillicorn, a Republican formerly of suburban East Dundee.

Escape Illinois says the back of Allen Skillicorn’s moving trailer at the tate Capitol.

The vocal conservative announced on Jan. 5 that he had tendered his resignation in the state Legislature, saying he would no longer pay Illinois’ “corruption tax” in good conscience.

“Illinois has been ruled for far too long by a small handful of Cook County Cronies, lead by Speaker Michael Madigan,” he said in his statement.

“For more times than I care to count, the Democrat majority and, disapprovingly, many Republicans have voted to pass legislation that raised taxes, increased spending, and created more regulation.

“It is to Illinois a death by a thousand legislative cuts.”

He had moved into a much more expensive home in Fountain Hills, Arizona but paid comparable costs because taxes were low enough to offset much of the increased cost.

“I looked at the mortgage calculator and thought ‘that payment is half of what I expected it to be,’” he told The Center Square. “When you’re not paying five-to-six, even $1,000 a month in property taxes, that changes the dynamic quite a bit.”

Fountain Hills, Arizona lies on the far eastern side of the Phoenix metropolitan area that includes Scottsdale, Peoria, Glendale, Tempe, and other cities that represent the majority of the state’s population. The town is in a congressional and state legislative district that leans heavily Republican. Skillicorn said he had no plans to run for office in his new home at present but would help other like-minded Republicans get into office.

Skillicorn [without running a campaign narrowly] lost his re-election bid to Democrat Suzanne Ness of Crystal Lake in November. The two-term representative was first elected in 2016. 

In all, 24 members of Illinois’ General Assembly have not finished their terms in the 101st legislature.

Some retired, others, resigned in connection to ongoing corruption investigations, others accepted positions in other state agencies, others chose not to complete their terms for various reasons including the state policy that terminates their health benefits at the turn of the new year. 

Lake County State’s Attorney, a Democrat, Expresses Support for Criminal Reform Legislation

From the Lake County State’s Attorney:

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart Supports Final Reform Bill

(Lake County, IL) Today, the Illinois legislature passed a sweeping reform bill that, among other things, mandated body-worn cameras for all Illinois officers, required records of police misconduct to be preserved, and introduced a statewide bail system that ends the use of money and instead allows judges to better protect the community by holding those posing a risk to others without respect to a person’s wealth.

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart worked with Lake County legislators and policy advocates to improve upon the original bill that was introduced on January 6, 2021.

A few of the many critical reforms in the final version of the bill:

  • Mandates that all police officers wear body cameras while taking into account the size of departments. 
  • Ends the use of “cash bail” and allows judges to focus solely on someone’s “threat to community” as opposed to guessing about a defendant’s access to money.
  • Creates a mandatory duty for  law enforcement officers to render aid in cases where other officers engage in misconduct.
  • Creates accountability for officers who knowingly lie in police reports.

State’s Attorney Rinehart said: 

“The criminal justice reform bill that was passed today in Springfield will make all communities in Lake County safer.

“I am proud to say I support the bill, and that I was able to suggest improvements to the original version of the bill.

“These common sense reforms will prevent tragedies like the case of Cassandra Tanner-Miller in which her abuser posted $5,000.00 and then killed their 18-month-old child.

“It will prevent the gross disparity we see between holding a non-violent offender on a small bail while Kyle Rittenhouse is released in Wisconsin because supporters posted millions.

“In the coming weeks, I look forward to hosting community forums about other parts of the bill that were rejected, such as modifying qualified immunity protections for police departments.”

In addition, Rinehart said:

“With respect to our partners in law enforcement, body-cameras need to be funded, but they protect officers and civilians alike.

“As for the few officers who engage in misconduct, this bill gives all of us necessary and needed tools to discover the misconduct and deal with it in a transparent way that will restore the link between the community and our justice system.” 

The bill also:

  • Prevents destruction of law enforcement misconduct records.
  • Connects substance abuse treatment programs with First Responder duties.
  • Increases and improves de-escalation and mental health training for law enforcement.
  • Expands qualifying offenses for and access to police misconduct database.
  • Requires police to develop a plan to protect children during search warrant raids.
  • Empowers the Attorney General to investigate deaths occurring in police custody.
  • Bans use of chokeholds and other extreme measures.
  • Establishes statewide use of force standards by 2022.