McConnaghay Reports

A report from State Senator Karen McConnaughay:

Senator McConnaughay’s Legislative Update: July 22, 2016

After months of uncertainty, Illinois has been given a short-term reprieve, gaining some much-needed stability and time for lawmakers to address some of Illinois’ ongoing issues.

One of our biggest challenges ahead will be addressing Illinois’ antiquated school funding formula.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle know that the formula is not working, failing to provide Illinois students and schools with the equitable funding that they need to best serve our children. Our schools deserve better and our students deserve more.

For all these reasons, I am looking forward to beginning work as an appointee to the recently formed Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. This bipartisan, 25-member board created by Governor Bruce Rauner is charged with working together to rewrite the state’s out-of-date school funding formula.

As a Commission, we have been chosen to work side-by-side to identify a comprehensive solution to fix a broken and flawed formula, addressing some of the fundamental problems with education funding in Illinois.

Reform doesn’t come easy, and I know that the road ahead will be challenging. However, I am willing to rise to the challenge and I know that if we work together—prioritizing the needs of students and schools before all else—we can make a difference in the lives of our students.

Just this week, I was joined by my colleagues and leaders in education as the Governor signed legislation that once again recognizes Illinois as a leader in early childhood education. I was honored to be part of such important work.

As always, I hope you will contact me or my office with any questions or concerns you may have. You can also visit my legislative website atwww.senatormcconnaughay.com.

Sincerely,

Karen McConnaughay
State Senator for the 33rd District

New Law Reinforces Illinois as a National Leader in Early Childhood Education

State Senator Karen McConnaughay and Governor Bruce Rauner at a bill signing.

State Senator Karen McConnaughay and Governor Bruce Rauner at a bill signing.

A recently signed law underscores Illinois’ status as a national leader in early childhood education, and Senator McConnaughay says maintaining that role should remain a top priority.

The Senator was present when Governor Rauner signed legislation July 21 (pictured at right) that will make sure an allocation of early childhood education funding is directed to programs for infants and toddlers up to age three. The new law signed this week seeks to ensure children in Illinois begin their lives with a strong academic foundation and age-appropriate support and resources.

Read more

School Funding Reform Commission

Identifying bipartisan solutions to reform the state’s antiquated and inequitable school funding formula will be the challenge for Senator McConnaughay and other appointees to the Governor’s recently formed Illinois School Funding Reform Commission.

“Guaranteeing our students have the best education possible starts with ensuring that our schools are properly funded,” said Sen. McConnaughay. “Unfortunately, our current education funding formula is outdated and isn’t providing Illinois students and schools with the equitable funding that they rely on. Our schools deserve better and our students deserve more.”

Read more

Illinois’ Fiscal Health Tied to Reforms

Comprehensive change is challenging, as the last year-and-a half has proven. However, recently the Governor’s budget director outlined a number of the ways reforms to state government have protected Illinois taxpayers, increased government efficiencies and helped Illinois function more successfully.

Read more

Jack Franks Taxpayer-Financed Mailing to 25,000 Echos Campaign Themes

Jack Franks is running for McHenry County Board Chairman, but he is still State Representative.

One of the benefits of being a state legislator is that one can have the Legislative Printing Unit in Springfield print about anything one wants.

Besides stationery and envelopes, the most popular request is probably newsletters to be mailed to constituents.

The printing and paper cost nothing.

The postage usually comes from a legislator’s “district allowance,” which pays for office rent, utilities and staff.

Below you see the cover of Jack Franks’ most recent newsletter.

It is easy to pick out the key themes of Jack Franks' campaign for McHenry County Board Chairman on this cover of his latest newsletter.

It is easy to pick out the key themes of Jack Franks’ campaign for McHenry County Board Chairman on this cover of his latest newsletter.

25,071 copies were printed in July of 2016, the required disclosure says.

Rauner Vetoes Senior Assistance Bill He Says Would Cost over $1 Billion

The veto message for House Bill 5764:

Today I return House Bill 5764, which amends the Illinois Act on Aging to establish statutory wage increases for employees providing homemaker services.

This bill provides for successive rate increases in the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program (CCP) over the next four years and requires an enhanced rate for in-home service provider agencies that offer health insurance coverage for employees.

The total projected cost to the Department on Aging of the rate increase over the four year period would be an estimated $1.1 billion.

The enhanced rate adjustment for providers that offer health insurance coverage would cost an additional $50 million over four years.

In total, this bill would more than double the costs of the entire Community Care Program over the next four years.

The monetary impact of this bill extends to the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS), as DHS contracts with a number of vendors that employ individuals providing homemaker services. The costs to DHS would be $66.5 million over the first four years and then $23.9 million annually thereafter.

Importantly, there is no funding in House Bill 5764 to cover the more than $1 billion in additional funding that will be needed pay for this bill.

At a time of unprecedented financial difficulty in the State of Illinois, this is unaffordable piece of legislation that will create an even greater financial hole for the State and will ultimately result in cuts to—and eliminations of—other important State programs. I share your desire to support the workers and programs serving our elderly and physically disabled residents. But we must do so in a responsible way that recognizes our current fiscal reality and does not jeopardize the long term sustainability of the very programs that this legislation is intended to support.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 5764, entitled “AN ACT concerning State government”, with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.

Here are the roll calls:

Jack Franks "took a walk," not voting on the bill.

Jack Franks “took a walk,” not voting on the bill.  Republicans representing McHenry County voted, “No.”

Senators represented McHenry County voted against the bill.

Senators represented McHenry County voted against the bill.

McHenry County’s Chief Financial Officer Ralph Scarbaugh Recognized

A press release from McHenry County:

Ralph Sarbaugh, CFO of the Year

Ralph Sarbaugh

Ralph Sarbaugh

Our very own Ralph Sarbaugh, Associate County Administrator – Finance, has been selected as one of nine honorees for this year’s Daily Herald CFO of the Year Award.

Beginning his career with McHenry County over 24 years ago, McHenry County Government has benefitted from Ralph’s hard work and dedication every day since his arrival.

His outstanding work ethic makes him the perfect recipient of this prestigious award. Hosted by the Business Ledger and sponsoring partners,

Ralph received his award at the 5th Annual CFO Awards of the Year reception on Wednesday, July 20.

As a testament to his accolade, Ralph has successfully implemented a fiscally responsible annual budget that has stabilized the County’s financial condition since the 1990’s.

He has never shied away from a challenge and continuously administered change for the betterment of the county, from modifying the structure of the financial model to developing a system of intercommunication between county departments and elected officials.

Peter Austin

Peter Austin

“Within Illinois, there are few counties in a greater financial place than McHenry County.

“No one is more responsible for this than Ralph Sarbaugh,” said McHenry County Administrator Peter Austin.

Over the years, McHenry County has continuously received high ratings and budget awards that demonstrate the County’s commitment to combine cost-savings and high quality service in every area. Ralph serves an integral role in the success of the County.

As an honoree, Ralph will be profiled in the August edition of the Daily Herald Business Ledger.

McHenry County Government shares in his success and extends our congratulations.

 

Tonya Franklin Weighs in on Jack Franks

The Republican Party wouldn’t let Tonya Franklin run against Jack Franks for State Rep. in 2012, but she didn’t lose interest in politics.

She recently sent the following letter to the Northwest Herald.  It is published with her permission:

The shell games of Chicago and Springfield will infiltrate McHenry County if Jack Franks is

elected County Board chairman.

In 2014 Franks was quoted saying, “I can promise I’m not running for county chairman.”

The Northwest Herald headline from early June of 2014 about Jack Franks' promise not to run for McHenry County Board Chairman.

The Northwest Herald headline from early June of 2014 about Jack Franks’ promise not to run for McHenry County Board Chairman.

We know that to be a lie.

Tonya Franklin

Tonya Franklin

Franks already has made another grand “promise” to present a measure to cut McHenry County’s property tax levy 10 percent on his first day in office.

For most taxpayers, it would correlate to 1 percent of your total property tax bill ($30-$100).

In May 2005, SB 27, a $2.3 billion “pension holiday,” which some legislators equated to a payday loan, passed with 2 votes securing a veto proof majority.

The diverted pension funds were used to pay for increased education and health care spending.

Despite publicly criticizing skipping pension payments, Jack Franks voted for the legislation, setting the course for increased pension debt from $38 billion to $100 billion.

At the county level, it would be easy to propose to move the excess Valley Hi funds to be used as the pawn for another campaign promise.

Will Franks propose to eliminate the $3 million Valley Hi levy entirely?

Perhaps Franks will move RTA sales tax funds in a sleight of hand maneuver to pay for county health and human services?

I would like specific details how Franks proposes to cut the tax levy.

Will Franks actually cut services, staff or other areas?

Or does he merely intend to play a shell game with funds like his Chicago buddies trained him in Springfield?

Glenda Miller Holds Fundraiser

Glenda Miller chatted with Nick Provenzano.

Glenda Miller chatted with Nick Provenzano.

McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller held a fundraiser at Labemi’s near the Crystal Lake train station.

State Senator Dan McConchie and State's Attorney candidate Patrick Kenneally were among the guests.

State Senator Dan McConchie and State’s Attorney candidate Patrick Kenneally were among the guests.

When I arrived the place looked deserted.

Threatening storm clouds cleared the deck. Here you can see State Rep. candidate Steve Reick and former State Senator Jack Schaffer

Threatening storm clouds cleared the deck. Here you can see State Rep. candidate Steve Reick and former State Senator Jack Schaffer

The reason, I discovered, is everyone was out on the deck in back.

Jack Schaffer wasn't first one to hurry to his car.

Jack Schaffer wasn’t first one to hurry to his car.

With the storm moving in, people either headed for their vehicles or inside.

Republican State's Attorney candidate Patrick Kenneally,

Republican State’s Attorney candidate Patrick Kenneally,

There was plenty to discuss with the Democrats having just fielded their second candidate for State’s Attorney.

State Rep. Mike Tryon and the Republican running to replace him, Allen Skillicorn, conferred.

State Rep. Mike Tryon and the Republican running to replace him, Allen Skillicorn, conferred.

Jack Franks Reapportionment Ploy Got Result He Wants Copy

Jack Franks got this photo coverage in the Chicago Tribune.

Jack Franks got this photo coverage in the Chicago Tribune.

With a Cook County court having ruled that the reapportionment constitutional amendment does not meet Illinois constitutional muster to get on the ballot, it seems appropriate to re-run this May 4, 2016 article.

It tells of the how the Democrats pretended to want to a fairer remap process by passing this version, which, of course, did not get passed the State Senate.
= = = = =

Today in the Chicago Tribune, Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks got the biggest photo.

He’s  making a speech on the House floor, the article below says.

It’s in support of his constitutional amendment to change the reapportionment process.

I have outlined the hypocrisy of his proposal to take legislators out of the process:

Jack Franks on Reapportionment: “Do as I say, not as I did.”

But all was not roses for Franks on Tuesday.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown described what Franks was doing.

He resurrected former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s famous description of legislative shenanigans:

“Hocus pocus dominocus.”

He continued,

“Politics often involved slight of hand, giving the illusion of doing one thing when quite the opposite is actually what is happening.”

Brown concedes that Franks’ proposal “could very well be the best means to achieve that end [fair districts], although the evidence is that it’s just being used as another maneuver to fool us.”

Jack Franks

Jack Franks

The columnist points out that the Democrats are making this effort “to cover themselves politically” because of the petition-driven constitution amendment on reapportionment.

Constitutional amendments need to be passed by both Houses in the same form by the end of this week.

“Except that does not seem to be the plan,” Brown writes.

“Instead, legislators in both chambers are preparing to ignore the other’s legislation.

“That way they can all say they voted for legislative districting reform–without actually accomplishing anything.”

Reick on Reapportionment Referendum Rejection

A press release from State Rep. candidate Steve Reick:

Reick Disappointed but Still Optimistic

Woodstock, IL, July 21, 2016: Steve Reick, candidate for State Representative in the 63rd District, reacted to a Cook County Court’s decision to exclude the Independent Maps initiative from the ballot on November 8th.

The Court declared the ballot initiative unconstitutional on two grounds: that the citizen-led constitutional amendment proposal is not limited to “procedural and structural” changes to the IL General Assembly or to a single topic of the State Constitution.

Steve Reick

Steve Reick

“I’m very disappointed by the Court’s decision,” Reick said Wednesday.

“I have been advocating for fair maps since 2014 and I’m optimistic that the Illinois Supreme Court will overturn the decision and allow the initiative to receive a vote on November 8th.

“The people of Illinois who went out and did the work to get this initiative on the ballot and the voters who have had their voice taken away by gerrymandering deserve an independent map.

“They deserve fair representation.”

The 63 rd District is located entirely within McHenry County and includes Woodstock, Harvard, Huntley, Marengo, Hebron, and portions of McHenry Township,

Two Trump Signs Stolen in Huntley

This Donald Trump yard sign was found on Marathon Pundit's web site.

This Donald Trump yard sign was found on Marathon Pundit’s web site.

An indication of the level of hostility of Hillary Clinton supporters toward those of Donald Trump is referred to in a Huntley Police Report:

July 12, 2016 A theft report was taken in the 11600 block of Main St. A political sign was stolen from a yard.

11,600 block of Main Street in Huntley.

11,600 block of Main Street in Huntley.

When I inquired as to whose sign had been taken, Huntley Police revealed,

Two Donald Trump presidential campaign signs were taken from a residential yard.

I have not yet seen a Trump yard sign.

Nancy Zettler Comments on Court Decision Invalidating Remap Petition

From Democratic Party State Rep. candidate Nancy Zettler:

Nancy Zettler on Independent Maps and Entrenched Politicians

The following statement can be attributed to Nancy Zettler, candidate for the 66th House District:

Nancy Zettler

Nancy Zettler

I’m very disappointed that a referendum to change the current map system has been struck down. Our current map system protects entrenched politicians in BOTH parties and should be changed not only here in Illinois, but across the entire country as well.

This should NOT be a partisan issue. 

I am in agreement with President Obama, who this past spring told the Illinois General Assembly: “In America, politicians should not pick their voters, voters should pick their politicians.”

This just makes it clear that we need independent bipartisan leaders – who are not beholden to party leadership or a couple of select billionaires – that will stand up to the entrenched interests in Springfield.

Nancy Zettler is a candidate in the 66th House District. She is an accomplished attorney and community activist. The 66th House District includes all or portions of Algonquin, Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, East Dundee, Elgin, Gilberts, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood, Sleepy Hollow, and West Dundee.

Skillicorn Goes after Dems on Reapportionment

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

Madigan And Illinois Democrats Toss Redistricting Amendment Off The Ballot

Earlier this year 564,000 Illinois residents signed a petition to change the corrupt way Illinois politicians draw legislative districts.

The people were concerned that politicians were gerrymandering districts to pick their constituents, not the constituents choosing their politicians.

Speaker Mike Madigan, using attorneys employed by the Illinois Democratic Party sued to have this ballot initiative stopped and today a Cook County Judge ruled against this popular and necessary reform.

This decision will be appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Nobody knows if the decision will be made before the November election.

Allen Skillicorn

Allen Skillicorn

“As a concerned citizen, proven reformer, and candidate for the state legislature I am troubled and disheartened that a Cook County Judge ruled against over half million people today.

“Not only did I sign this petition, I helped circulate the petition.

“I believe voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around.

“For 45 years Mike Madigan has stood as a roadblock to effective, good governance.

“I urge my friends, family, and neighbors to vote in the November 8th election and to vote against any candidate with D next to their name.

“Illinois can prosper again, but only if we restore bipartisan leadership and the two party system again.”

Allen Skillicorn is the Republican nominee for the 66th State House District. The 66th Legislative District represents areas in McHenry and Kane Counties, including Algonquin, Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, East Dundee, Elgin, Huntley, Lake in the Hills, Lakewood, Sleepy Hollow, and West Dundee.

Democrats Chose Ray Flavin to Challenge Pat Kenneally for State’s Attorney

Ray Flavin

Ray Flavin

With their slated candidate for McHenry County State’s Attorney Jim Harrison having withdrawn (to care for his ailing mother, according to the Northwest Herald), McHenry County Democrats have decided to run Ray Flavin for the post.

The Democrats met behind closed doors at McHenry County College Tuesday night in a double room near the cafeteria.

Flavin told McHenry County Blog he was “running because I’d be the best candidate and I’d do the best job.

With regard to changing direction in the State’s Attorney’s Office, Flavin said he had a couple of things in mind.

The Woodstock resident targeted the relationship of local police with the courts, saying, “the interactions with police could be a lot smoother.

“A lot of times we have police sitting around waiting for [court] hearings that don’t happen.

“I think there should be a little more concerned with the police officers’ time.”

Flavin says he wants to make the office more efficient, giving assistants more responsibility.

“I’d give assistants more authority to deal with cases based on the facts in front of them.

“Then they might be able to reach some sort of accommodation, some sort of an adjustment short of trial.”

Asked if State Rep. Jack Franks was going to assist financially, Flavin wouldn’t comment.

His Republican opponent Patrick Kenneally issued the following statement:

Patrick Kenneally

Patrick Kenneally

“I welcome Mr. Flavin into the race.

“I have serious concerns, however, that my most recent opponent is even less qualified for the job than his predecessor.  He has never prosecuted so much as a single criminal case.

“He ran unsuccessfully for elected office on two prior occasions as both a Democrat and Republican.

“This raises troubling questions of political opportunism and credibility.

“McHenry County residents deserve better than a last minute scramble on the part of Democratic insiders to get a name on the ballot.

“McHenry County residents deserve a serious candidate who wants the job that entails working closely with law enforcement and fighting to keep them and their families safe.”

Graphic on attorney Ray Flavin's web site.

Graphic on attorney Ray Flavin’s web site.

On his web site, Flavin emphasizes cases involving

  • drunk driving
  • domestic battery
  • criminal charges

He lists recent court case outcomes on the left hand side of the internet presence of his law practice.

No dates are given, just case numbers, but there are a lot of “not guilty’s.”

There is also a list of client comments.

These are dated.  The latest is from the April before last.

Two domestic battery cases are summarized.  In both Flavin represented the man.

Describing his background on his web site, Flavin says,

“I have been a lawyer since 1992.

“I graduated from SIU Law School.

“Before that I received an M.A. in Business Administration from Webster University.

“I have also spent six years with the United States Navy and have been a candidate for Illinois State Senate, McHenry County State’s Attorney, McHenry County Judge, Local School Board and Precinct Committeeman.”

The attorney has a blog entitled, “Excessive Bail,” but when one tries to access it, the message “We are temporarily under…”

Flavin ran in the 2002 General Election, losing to incumbent Dick Klemm.

Election results between Dick Klemm and Ray Flavin from the 2002 Republican Primary Election.

Election results between Dick Klemm and Ray Flavin from the 2002 Republican Primary Election.

Two years later, Flavin entered the Republican Primary Election for State’s Attorney.

It was a three-way race between him, Glenn Gable and Lou Bianchi.

Bianchi won, as you can see from the election results below:
Flavin St's Atty 2004 headerFlavin St's Atty 2004 GOP Gable, Bianchi, Flavin
Now, Flavin will face off against GOP Primary winner and Bianchi assistant Patrick Kenneally.

CL Puts $30 Million Advisory Referendum on Fall Ballot for New Library

By a vote of 7-0, the Crystal Lake City Council agreed to place an advisory referendum about borrowing $30 million to build a new library on the General Election ballot this November.

Information about the specifics can be found here.

The ballot will read as follows, except addition to the wording “Market Value” after the $200,000.

Library referendum ballot question 2016The bonds would run for 20 years.

Ukrainian Internet Sharing Owner Indicted in Chicago

If you are wondering why the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago can’t get around to local corruption, take a look at this press release about its most recent indictment:

Owner of Most-Visited Illegal File-Sharing Website Charged with Criminal Copyright Infringement

CHICAGO — Federal authorities in Chicago have charged the alleged owner of today’s most-visited illegal file-sharing website with criminal copyright infringement and have seized domain names associated with the website.

ARTEM VAULIN, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, allegedly owns and operates Kickass Torrents, or KAT, a commercial website that since 2008 has enabled users to illegally reproduce and distribute hundreds of millions of copies of copyrighted motion pictures, video games, television programs, musical recordings and other electronic media, collectively valued at more than $1 billion, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  KAT receives more than 50 million unique monthly visitors and is estimated to be the 69th most frequently visited website on the Internet, according to the complaint.

Vaulin was arrested today by authorities in Poland.  The complaint charges Vaulin with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.  The United States will seek to extradite Vaulin to the United States.

Zachary Fardon

Zachary Fardon

The complaint and arrest were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Executive Associate Director Peter T. Edge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); and Richard Weber, Chief, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  Substantial assistance was provided by the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, and the Polish Border Guard and National Public Prosecutor’s Office.

“Copyright infringement exacts a large toll, a very human one, on the artists and businesses whose livelihood hinges on their creative inventions,” said U.S. Attorney Fardon.  “Vaulin allegedly used the Internet to cause enormous harm to those artists.  Our Cybercrimes unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago will continue to work with our law enforcement partners around the globe to identify, investigate and prosecute those who attempt to illegally profit from the innovation of others.”

“Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits.  His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”

“Artem Vaulin was allegedly running a worldwide digital piracy website that stole more than $1 billion in profits from the U.S. entertainment industry,” said Executive Associate Director Edge.  “Protecting legitimate commerce is one of HSI’s highest priorities.  With the cooperation of our law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively bring to justice those who enrich themselves by stealing the creative work of U.S. artists.”

“Investigating cyber-enabled schemes is a top priority for CI,” said Chief Weber.  “Websites such as the one seized today brazenly facilitate all kinds of illegal commerce.  Criminal Investigation is committed to thoroughly investigating financial crimes, regardless of the medium.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to unravel this and other complex financial transactions and money laundering schemes where individuals attempt to conceal the true source of their income and use the Internet to mask their true identity.”

KAT operates in approximately 28 languages, according to the complaint.  KAT’s net worth has been estimated at more than $54 million, with estimated annual advertising revenue in the range of $12.5 million to $22.3 million, according to the complaint.  KAT has moved its domain several times due to numerous seizures and copyright lawsuits, and it has been ordered blocked by courts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia, the complaint states.

In addition to the charges, a federal court in Chicago ordered the seizure of seven domain names associated with the alleged KAT conspiracy.  The site relies on a network of computer servers around the world, including servers located in Chicago, and has operated at various times under the domains kickasstorrents.com, kat.ph, kickass.to,kastatic.com, kickass.so, thekat.tv and kat.cr, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, movies that were still in theaters have consistently been made available for download by the KAT conspiracy.  Films that KAT recently made available for download include “Captain America: Civil War,” “Now You See Me 2,” “Independence Day: Resurgence,” and “Finding Dory,” according to the complaint.

Vaulin, who used the online screen name “tirm,” was involved in designing KAT’s original website and oversaw KAT’s operations, according to the complaint.  During the latter part of the conspiracy, Vaulin allegedly operated KAT under the auspices of a Ukrainian-based front company called Cryptoneat.

Criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.  Conspiracy to commit money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years.

The public is reminded that a complaint is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and is 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 a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William E. Ridgway and Devlin N. Su of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois; and Senior Counsel Ryan K. Dickey of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section.

Lakewood Sets $100 a Day Fines for Violation of Village Water Lawn Rules

A press release from the Village of Lakewood:

Village to Strictly Enforce Water Restrictions

New Lakewood water tower's silhouette can now be seen next to the Turnberry Country Clubhouse.

New Lakewood water tower when it was under construction next to the Turnberry Country Clubhouse.

Effectively immediately, the Village will be strictly enforcing water restrictions in order to conserve water in our community. The sustained lack of rain this season has reduced the water table, which adversely affects available water supply.

Enforcement of the restrictions is the most efficient method of ensuring that appropriate water supply levels are maintained, especially during the hot and dry summer months.

The Village’s restrictions allow the outside use of potable water on the following days:

  • Odd numbered street addresses – Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
  • Even numbered street addresses – Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
  • Mondays – No outside use of potable water

These restrictions apply to all outside use of potable water, including but not limited to the operation of sprinkler systems, watering lawns or landscape materials and the use of hand-held watering hoses.

The Village will soon be placing “Outside Water Restrictions Enforced” signs at the entrances to major subdivisions to alert affected residents.

This includes all properties served by Lakewood Utilities west of Huntley Road, with the exception of Lake Ave, Shade Tree Circle and Oakwood Drive.

Typically, these signs will remain in place until conditions change and the water levels have resumed.

The community’s support and adherence to these restrictions will help to prevent a full prohibition of outside water use.

The penalty for violating this regulation is a minimum fine of $100 for each offense.

If you have any questions please contact Village Hall at (815) 459-3025.

Cook County Judge Says “No Way” to Reapportionment Reform

The Chicago Tribune headline on the latest effort to make legislative district line drawing less political.

The Chicago Tribune headline on the latest effort to make legislative district line drawing less political.

The last time that attorney Mike Kasper was involved in McHenry County affairs was when the Mike Madigan reapportionment committee held its first meeting, which was at Marengo High School. Here Democrat State Rep. Jack Franks is advised by Mike Kasper.

When the Mike Madigan reapportionment committee held its first meeting, it was at Marengo High School. Here Democrat State Rep. Jack Franks is advised by Mike Kasper, the attorney who just thwarted a referendum to take the power to draw the maps out of the direct hands of the Democrats who control the Illinois General Assembly.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s attempt to take away absolute power from Mike Madigan and John Cullerton in the drawing of legislative lines has been stopped by a Cook County judge.

The Chicago Tribune story can be found here.

The Governor’s statement on the decision is below:

Statement on Redistricting Referendum

 CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement on a Cook County judge’s decision regarding the redistricting referendum on the November ballot:

Crystal Lake is in three state rep. and three state senate districts.

Crystal Lake is in three state rep. and three state senate districts as a result of the map drawn by Mike Madigan with the support of Democratic Party State Rep. Jack Franks.  In the new map, Franks arranged to have the Spring Grove precincts he lost to John O’Neill taken out of his new district.  County Board Chairmen propose county board district lines.

“Today’s ruling is a harsh reminder that the political system in Illinois is in need of major reforms. I hope the decision to deny voters the chance to consider the Independent Map redistricting referendum is appealed and reversed.

“Independent redistricting is badly needed in our state. A stunning two-thirds of incumbents will be running unopposed in November. That’s certainly not because the politicians in charge are doing such a good job in Springfield. It means the system is broken.

“Legislators in power could have placed the Independent Maps referendum directly on the ballot and avoided this court decision. Instead, they chose to play politics in an effort to protect their own power.

“That is wrong.

“We have it backwards in Illinois.

Voters should be able to choose their elected officials through an independently-drawn map that ensures competitive elections. Instead, we have politicians choosing their voters, putting politics ahead of people.

“Independent Maps has strong support from both Democrats and Republicans. It has strong support from non-partisan good government groups.  So this ruling is a definitely a setback for the people of Illinois.

“If this decision remains in place, it will prove that we need to put political reform at the top of our legislative agenda. We need to fix our broken political system to ensure taxpayers win instead of the insiders.”

McHenry 4-Year Old Overheated in Family Car

A press release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department:

Heat Related Injury Investigation

Holly Court, McHenry, is near the outdoor theater.

Holly Court, McHenry, is near the outdoor theater.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at approximately 1530 hrs, members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence on Holly Ct. In unincorporated McHenry to assist McHenry Fire Protection District with a child unresponsive in a car.

Deputies arrived approximately 5 minutes later and found Fire District personnel tending to a 4-year old girl.

Preliminary investigation indicates the girl overheard conversations about going to her Grandma’s house for dinner. The girl went outside and climbed into the car without anyone’s knowledge.

The family began looking for the girl approximately 15-20 minutes later and found her in the car unresponsive.

The mother immediately removed her from the car and called 911.

Fire District personnel transported the girl to Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center McHenry. Medical staff continued treating the girl and transferred her to Lutheran General Hospital for further treatment.

At this time the incident is under investigation and the family is cooperating.

Information will be updated as appropriate.