Here’s the fourth in a series of emails questioning McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan’s ethics with links to a web site identified as McHenry Judicial Ethics PAC.
The PAC is not registered with the Illinois State Board of Elections, but doesn’t have to be until $5,000 is spent or raised.
Being a judge requires a strong moral compass.
Judges, and candidates for judge, should avoid any appearances of impropriety.
At the bare minimum, one hopes that they would know the law and follow it.
Unfortunately, it appears that Mary McClellan either doesn’t know the law or is purposely choosing to not follow it.
Neither is acceptable.
A prime example is her campaign for McHenry County Judge.
The Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct clearly states that a candidate for election to judicial office shall not “solicit funds for, or pay an assessment to a political organization or candidate” and “A candidate shall not personally solicit or accept campaign contributions.”
The code lays out how a candidate for judge is to run their campaigns, creating a committee that is to solicit and handle funds on their behalf. See the Code of Judicial Conduct here (specifically Rule 67 – Canon 7).
Every candidate for judge meticulously follows these rules, since they are a clear indicator to the public of the ethics (or lack thereof) of the potential judge. Every candidate except Mary McClellan, that is.
On August 8th, McClellan amended her committee to support her candidacy for judge.
In that amendment, she specifically listed herself as both the Chairman and Treasurer of her campaign.
This clearly violates the Code of Judicial Conduct, since the Committee’s entire purpose is solicit, accept, and spend campaign funds on behalf of the candidate.
A very troubling pattern of behavior is emerging for McClellan.
One wants to give her the benefit of the doubt, that she simply does not know the law, which is problematic for a judge but at least not malicious.
But time and again her actions are showing a potential disregard for the law.
Look back to previous posts on this site for specific examples.
While we will refrain from assuming intent, the voters will make their determination on March 20th, 2018.