Million Dollar Trick or Treating

From the U.S. Attorney:

Two Brothers Charged in Federal Court With Robbing Armored Truck at Gunpoint on Halloween

CHICAGO — Two brothers have been charged in federal court with robbing more than $1 million from an armored truck and automated teller machine in a Chicago suburb on Halloween.

CORRIE SINGLETON, 21, and DARRELL SINGLETON, 18, both of South Holland, Ill., are charged with robbery, bank larceny by assault, and firearm offenses, according to an indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  Corrie Singleton is in law enforcement custody. 

His arraignment is set for Dec. 15, 2022, at 3:15 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole.  An arrest warrant has been issued for Darrell Singleton. 

A third alleged robber – a juvenile – was arrested and charged in state court.

The charges were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and John S. Morales, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  The Lansing, Ill., Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives provided valuable assistance.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Simar Khera.

According to the indictment and criminal complaints filed in the case, the robbery occurred shortly after 10:45 a.m. on Oct. 31, 2022, while a Brink’s security courier was refilling an ATM at a bank in the 16700 block of Torrence Avenue in Lansing. 

Robbers brandished handguns and stole a gun and a bag of money from the courier, as well as cash from the ATM, the charges allege. 

They then forcibly dragged the courier into the armored truck and ordered her to open inner compartments and hand over bags of money, the charges allege. 

The robbers stole approximately $121,824 from the courier and ATM, and approximately $904,132 from the armored truck.

After the heist, the robbers fled in a vehicle, with law enforcement in pursuit.  The robbers’ vehicle crashed into another car near a ramp to Interstate 80 and the robbers fled on foot.  Corrie Singleton and the juvenile were arrested, and much of the stolen money was recovered from their vehicle, the charges state.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  The charges in the indictment are punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of seven years in federal prison and a maximum of 45 years.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. 

If you have information as to the current whereabouts of Darrell Singleton, you are encouraged to contact the FBI Chicago Field Office at (312) 421-6700 or https://tips.fbi.gov.

Comparing Modern Day Interpretation of the First to the Second Amendment

Found in The Illinoize, an email publication competing with Capitol Fax at $99 per year with several days free:

“They keep talking about weapons of war. Flintlocks were once weapons of war. 

Percussion cap rifles were once weapons of war.

“Bolt action rifles are still used by today’s military and have been ever since the times of the Civil War,” [former gun rights lobbyist Todd Vandermyde] said.

“If [they] want to apply that standard, then the First Amendment doesn’t apply to the internet, TV or radio. Rights are rights.

“The First Amendment can apply to modern times, so does the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has expressly said [the Second Amendment] applies to modern firearms.”

Election Integrity Scorecard

From the Heritage Foundation comes this evaluation of Illinois election laws:

CATEGORYSCORE
Overall Score49/100

Voter ID Implementation 3/20

Q: The state requires all voters to present ID for in-person voting? (full credit for photo ID only, partial credit for allowing non-photo ID)
A: No ⓘ
0/6
Q: The state requires a photo ID or a unique identifier, such as a driver’s license serial number or last four digits of SSN (SSN4), for absentee voting?
A: No ⓘ
0/6
Q: The state provides a free photo ID for those who cannot afford a state-issued ID?
A: Yes (partial) ⓘ
3/6
Q: The state does not allow the use of an affidavit exception by the voter to a photo ID requirement?
A: No ⓘ
0/2

Accuracy of Voter Registration Lists 24/30

Q: State election officials run data comparisons between the statewide voter registration list and the DMV?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3
Q: State election officials run data comparisons between the statewide voter registration list and state corrections department (for felons whose ability to vote has been taken away)?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3
Q: State election officials run data comparisons between the statewide voter registration list and state vital records?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3
Q: State election officials run data comparisons between the statewide voter registration list and Social Security Administration death record?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: State election officials run data comparisons between the statewide voter registration list and state welfare and public assistance agencies to find information relevant to registration such as address changes, deaths, citizenship status, or other factors affecting eligibility?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: Election officials verify the residence address on all new voter registration forms by comparing it to county tax records or another residential address database to ensure that the address is not actually a commercial or industrial address, or a vacant or undeveloped lot in a residential area?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: If the answer to the previous question is “yes,” election officials check to see how many individuals are registered at that address in order to find any anomalies, such as a large number of individuals registered at a single-family home?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: Election officials investigate the registrations of individuals registered at the same address with only slight discrepancies in their names?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: State election officials provide an annual report to their state legislatures on their voter registration maintenance procedures?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: State election officials use the U.S. Postal Service’s National Change of Address (NCOA) system to find voters who have moved from their registered address?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3
Q: State election officials access any commercially available data such as from credit agencies to verify voter registration information?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: The state is a member of the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), which compares the statewide voter registration lists of state members?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3
Q: The state voter registration form asks registrants to identify their previous address of registration?
A: Yes ⓘ
2/2
Q: State election officials notify the previous registration office of the applicant’s new registration?
A: Yes ⓘ
2/2
Q: Voter registration lists are made available to candidates, political parties, nonprofit organizations, and the public?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: If the state uses electronic poll books in polling places, the registration list include photographs of the registered voter?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: If a state has online voter registration, the registration is limited only to individuals who have a state driver’s license or nondriver’s license photo ID issued by the DMV?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: State law conditions requests from federal courts for a state’s voter registration or DMV list to use for federal juries on an agreement by the federal courts to notify state election officials if an individual on that list is found to be disqualified because of felony conviction or non-citizenship?
A: No ⓘ
0/1

Absentee Ballot Management

Q: The absentee ballot needs to be notarized or witnessed (with identifying information such as name, address, telephone number, and signature)?
A: No ⓘ
0/2
Q: There is a limit on number of absentee ballots one individual can witness?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: The state has a signature comparison requirement?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: There is a stay-in-envelope requirement for completed absentee ballots until voter information has been verified?
A: Yes ⓘ
2/2
Q: The state requires a signed voter request for an absentee ballot?
A: Yes ⓘ
2/2
Q: The state does not allow a permanent absentee ballot list?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: The state does not automatically mail absentee ballot request forms to all registered voters?
A: Yes (partial) ⓘ
2/3
Q: The state does not automatically mail absentee ballots to all registered voters?
A: Yes ⓘ
4/4
Q: The state requires the receipt of all ballots by the close of polls on election day? (with the exception of overseas military ballots)
A: No ⓘ
0/3
Q: The state does not use unattended, unsecure drop boxes?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: The state has procedures to investigate the validity of a registration when an absentee ballot is returned as undeliverable by the post office?
A: No ⓘ
0/1

Ballot Harvesting/Trafficking Restrictions

Q: The state does not allow third-party strangers, other than immediate family or a caregiver, to pick up and deliver a voter’s absentee ballot?
A: Yes (partial) ⓘ
1/4

Access of Election Observers

Q: Does the state give full and complete access to election observers?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3

Verification of Citizenship

Q: The state uses the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) Program to help identify non-citizens who register to vote?
A: No ⓘ
0/2
Q: State election officials utilize state and federal jury information to verify citizenship?
A: No ⓘ
0/2

Identification for Voter Assistance

Q: The state requires those who are assisting voters to provide their identity and reason for assistance?
A: Yes ⓘ
3/3

Vote Counting Practices

Q: The state does not connect voting and tabulating machines to the internet?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1
Q: The state requires the tabulation of votes to be continuous until completed?
A: Yes ⓘ
1/1

Election Litigation Procedures

Q: The state legislature has standing to sue (statutorily or via state constitution) to ensure compliance with election laws as passed by the legislature?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: Any changes to the state’s election laws via a court settlement require the approval of the state legislature?
A: No ⓘ
0/1
Q: Residents of the state have standing to sue election officials who do not abide by state election laws? (general standing to contest the results of an election is not sufficient for purposes of this question)
A: No ⓘ
0/1

Restriction of Same-Day Registration

Q: The state requires registration prior to election day?
A: No ⓘ
0/3

Restriction of Automatice Registration

Q: The state does not automatically register voters?
A: No ⓘ
0/3

Restriction of Private Funding of Election Officials or Government Agancies

Q: The state does not allow the private funding of election officials and government agencies?
A: No ⓘ
0/3

UPDATE: Missing Algonquin Woman Believed Found in Fox River

From the Algonquin Police Department:

On December 5, 2022 at approximately 8:40 AM, Carpentersville Police Department received information of a body in the Fox River in the area of Bolz Road and Williams Road.

Upon arrival of the Kane County Coroner, the body, which fit the above description, was removed to await
official, positive identification through the Kane County Coroner’s office.

As this time this remains an ongoing investigation but there does not appear to be any foul play.

Anyone needing further information, is asked to contact the Algonquin Police Department at 847-658-4531 or the Kane County Coroner.

Missing Person

Kimberly Koerner

The Algonquin Police Department is seeking assistance in locating a missing person.

Kimberly Koerner, 52, was last seen Sunday morning about 9:00 am walking away from the Jewel Food Store, 1501 E. Algonquin Road.

She was wearing a white winter jacket with fur and pajama bottom pants (unknown color).

She is approximately 5’06” 130 pounds with black, straight, shoulder length hair.

Anyone with information about Kimberly is asked to call the Algonquin Police Department at 847-658-4531.

Another Entry in the Crook County Fair Corruption Contest

From the U.S. Attorney:

Former Clerk for Chicago Transit Authority Retirement Plan Charged With Fraudulently Obtaining More Than $350,000 in Plan Funds 

Blue Ribbon winner?

CHICAGO — A former clerk for the Retirement Plan for Chicago Transit Authority Employees has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $350,000 in Plan funds.

AYANNA NESBITT created and obtained approval for fraudulent payment requests of various retirement benefits, including death benefits and pension contribution refunds, to purported CTA retirees or their beneficiaries, according to an indictment returned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. 

The payment requests contained false and fraudulent representations about the purported recipients’ identities and entitlement to the payments, the indictment states. 

Nesbitt either accepted the fraudulently obtained funds in accounts she controlled or else had the money paid to others and then transferred to Nesbitt, the charges allege.

From 2019 to 2021, Nesbitt fraudulently created approximately 43 false payment requests, defrauding the Plan of approximately $356,934, the indictment states.

The indictment charges Nesbitt, 50, of Chicago, with five counts of wire fraud.  Arraignment is set for Dec. 8, 2022, at 1:30 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly.

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

The public is reminded that an indictment 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 wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Message of the Day – A Tee Shirt

From a Friend of McHenry County Blog comes this tee shirt given to Huntley teachers by its union, the Huntley Education Association.

Despite how the national media has colored conservatives, worldwide, red connotes leftwingers.
The new Huntley Education Association tee shirt.
Teachers picketed in 2011 while on strike at the Harmony Road Campus.

Expect to see them the next time the teachers strike.

Donna Kurtz Sworn In for County Treasurer

Donna Kurtz continued her public service career when she was sworn in as McHenry County Treasurer last week.

Replacing Republican Glenda Miller, she defeated Democrat Amin Karim and Libertarian Jim Young, gaining 56.6% of the vote to Karim’s almost 40% and Young’s 3.6%.

The margin over the Democrat was 29,339 votes.

Kurtz, of Crystal Lake, entered the public arena as a member of the McHenry County College Board in 2005, serving until 2010 when she was elected to the McHenry County Board.

After leaving the Board, she ran unsuccessfully for the Crystal Lake High School Board, but lost with her running mates to candidates endorsed by the teachers union.

Donna Kurtz

In her announcement press release she touted “her record of conservative fiscal responsibility, transparency, and honesty in McHenry County Government” and “over three decades of professional experience…serving as a licensed financial advisor – managing millions in investments, and in corporate management and leadership – managing multi-million-dollar budgets with large teams and staff.”

Kurtz is leaving the private sector where she was a consultant in the banking industry.

“My goal is to maintain the integrity of this office and to support the practices and methodologies established by Glenda Miller,” she said.

Kurtz received her BA from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and her MBA from the University of Illinois in Springfield, IL. She holds numerous professional certifications in project management and systems/software development management.

Donna Kurtz grew up in Crystal Lake, IL and is a 1977 graduate of Crystal Lake Central High School where her sisters, Jennifer and Tammy also graduated. She is the daughter of the late James C. Kurtz, and former Illinois State Representative Rosemary Kurtz. Donna and her husband, Paul Minkus, and step-daughter, Tavi Minkus, reside in Crystal Lake.

= = = = =

Here is the article run when Kurtz announced for County Board:

Donna Kurtz Runs for McHenry County Board

Upsetting the District 2 Republican apple-cart is McHenry County College Board member Donna Kurtz’ announcement that she is seeking one of two party nominations for the county board.

She is contesting the re-nomination of McHenry County Board Chairman Ken Koehler and member Lynn Orphal.

Lyn Orphal

So far, no Democrats have surfaced to provide a fall contest.

An opponent to having slot machines in bars and restaurants, the Kurtz candidacy could provide impetus for at least one District 2 county board member, Orphal, to vote to ban the machines in order to neutralize the issue or to at least support allowing citizens to offer input in a February advisory referendum.

The county board’s License and Liquor Committee is holding a public hearing next Wednesday, October 7th, starting at 6 PM to take input from the public.  Kurtz told McHenry County Blog she intends to attend.

Handing Donna Kurtz an American Flag and a flowers is former Crystal Lake Park Board member Leona Nelson.  This was done after she and Scott Summers’ censure by fellow McHenry County College Board members.

The last time Kurtz provided public testimony at a governmental body was when the Crystal Lake City Council was considering whether or not to allow a baseball stadium at McHenry County College.  She and trustee Scott Summers testified against the plan.

For that action, their MCC Board colleagues censured them. Read the linked article and you will see that Kurtz and Summers achieved near folk hero status.

Among other issues that are almost sure to come up are the Metra purchase of 17 acres of land half-owned by County Board Chairman Koehler.

Although Metra board members argued that a Ridgefield train stop was needed near McHenry County College, the board selected the least convenient location possible.  While no one has suggested Koehler did anything wrong in agreeing to sell the land to Metra, it certainly could become an issue, considering Kurtz is on the MCC board and not happy with the location.  And, especially since no one from Metra consulted with community college personnel prior to the inconvenient-to-students site’s selection.

Issues on Kurtz’ handout include

  • Make honesty & integrity the #1 priority in gov’t.
  • Fight corruption, self-interest, and “roads to nowhere,” i.e., Alden Road.
  • Work for real road and transportation solutions.
  • Demand fiscal responsibility.
  • Champion a McHenry County that remains beautify, productive, and economically vibrant.

The map showing which precincts Kurtz won and lost follows:

Red precincts went for Donna Kurtz, blue ones for Amin Karim. Nunda 18 results were a tie.

Algonquin Woman Missing

From the Algonquin Police Department:

Missing Person

Kimberly Koerner

The Algonquin Police Department is seeking assistance in locating a missing person.

Kimberly Koerner, 52, was last seen Sunday morning about 9:00 am walking away from the Jewel Food Store, 1501 E. Algonquin Road.

She was wearing a white winter jacket with fur and pajama bottom pants (unknown color).

She is approximately 5’06” 130 pounds with black, straight, shoulder length hair.

Anyone with information about Kimberly is asked to call the Algonquin Police Department at 847-658-4531.

Joe Tirio Sworn Into Office for Third Time

Six years ago, Woodstock’s Joe Tirio ran for Recorder of Deeds in a contested Republican Primary after long-time incumbent Phyllis Walters retired.

R\n 2016, Republican voters cast the ballots you can see above for Recorder of Deeds.
One of Joe Tirio’s web sites.

His successful campaign issue was a promise to abolish the Recorder as an elective position.

Tirio defeated

  • County Board Chairwoman Tina Hill and
  • Nunda Township Clerk Joni Smith, who was an employee of the Recorder’s Office who had been endorsed by Walters.

The Primary Election results were

  • Tirio – 38% of the vote,
  • Smith 34% and
  • Hill 27%.
“I won’t hire my wife” was a humorous second message.

In his campaign for Recorder, Tirio added humor by tweaking County Clerk Mary McClellan for hiring her husband by promising not to hire his wife Karen.

Not coincidentally, if abolished, the Recorder’s duties would be folded into the County Clerk’s office.

A referendum was held the next year asking voters whether they wanted to abolish the elected official of Recorder of Deeds.

As with every other referendum, but that of the Coroner, asking voters if they want fewer elected officials (think Pat Quinn’s Cut-Back Amendment that eliminated one-third of the membership of the Illinois House of Representatives and the advisory referendum to cut the number of County Board membersd from 24 to 18), the one to eliminate the Recorder passed.

With Tirio positioned to run against McClellan for County Clerk in 2018, McClellan, an attorney, decided to run for the much higher paying position of Circuit Court Judge, instead of re-election.

Tirio was challenged for the Republican nomination by Janice Dalton, Clerk for the City of McHenry.

Joint mailing for Mary McClellan and Janice Dalton.

Dalton was endorsed by McClellan.

Tirio beat her 13,360 to10390 (56.25% to 43.75%),

One of the Republican Primeay Election smear pieces from the Illinois Integrity (sic) Fund intended to soften Joe Tirio up for the fall campaign against Democratic Party County Clerk candidate Andrew Giorgi.

This result, despite a vicious smear campaign ostensively from a Political Action Committee called The Illinois Intengrity (sic) Fund, but was traced to Tirio critic Jack Franks, who was serving as McHenry County Board Chairman.

McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio’s County Fair fan.

Even though Tirio was hot running against McClellan for Clerk, he continued his memorable campaign message that he would not hire his wife.

Tirio beat his Democratic Party opponent Andrew Giorgi.

The vote was 54.6% to 45.4%.

The 2018 vote totals were 62,126 for Tirio to 51,742 for Giorgi.

Tirio declined to take salaries for the two offices which he now held.

Tirio sued numerous folks he thought connected to the smear pieces and eventually won.

The seemingly interminal hearings continued before Kane County Judge Kevin Busch, who most of the time overtly favored Franks in his rulings, until February 2021, but not until a trip to the Appeallate Court.

In 2021, after he had been defeated for re-election by Republlican Mike Buehler, Franks finally fessed up to his role in the smear postcards.

His statement reads:

Jack Franks

“I publically acknowledge my role in he publlication of Flyers in connection with the 2018 Republican primary election through my connection with the Illinois Integrity Fund.

“I acknowledge that any implication or assertion in the Flyers that Mr. Tirio

  • had a ‘secret taxpayer funded slush fund’,
  • committed theft,
  • used public funds for a personal ‘vacation’,
  • hired cronies or
  • was ‘crooked’ was false.

“I regret any reputational or professional harm the Flyers may have caused to Mr. Tirio.”

The letter was fowarded from McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio in an email entitled,

“The matter has been resolved and the parties have released their respective claims against each other.”

Financial arrangements were kept secret.

In 2022, Tirio ran unopposed in the Republican Primary.

In the General Election, he was challenged by McHenry Township Assessor Mary Mahady.

Mary Mahady outside of a Town Hall Meeting of three GOP State Senators at Crystal Lake’s City Hall.

Mahady actively used her pro-abortion connections, but to not enough avail in her campaign.

Tirio made no mailings of which I am aware and neither did Mahady (perhaps to Democrats, but not to this Republican).

I’m not a Facebook person, so maybe that’s where both campaigned.

Tirio did utilize the new electronic billboards and used signs re-cycled from his 2018 campaign.

The results were Tirio 53.8%, Mahady 46.2%, 61,927 to 53,220.

Republican Joe Tirio won the red precincts, Democrat Mary Mahady the blue ones.

This past week, Tirio was sworn in the for the second time as McHenry County Clerk bvy Judge David Gervais.

Shopping in Wisconsin for Gas and Other Stuff

Fox 32 suggests tax advantages of shopping in Wisconsin:

To save the most, you may want to head to Wisconsin where the combined state and average local retail tax rate is just 5.4 percent, compared to Illinois’ 8.8 percent.

Richmond Township Truck being filled with Wisconsin gas.

And if you’re willing to cross into neighboring states for gas, you may want to stay for your holiday shopping.

Illinois has the eighth-highest sales tax in the nation, and ranks as the only Midwestern state in the top 10.

SAFE-T Act Amended

From The Center Square:

After changes to SAFE-T Act, law enforcement agencies have weeks to ‘reset’

(The Center Square) – Members of Illinois’ law enforcement community are having to reset with less than a month to go before for the implementation of a law that would eliminate cash bail statewide.

State lawmakers approved changes to the SAFE-T Act Thursday before leaving for the rest of the calendar year. Changes include a list of serious crimes that defendants can be held on before trial.

During debate, Republicans pointed out problems they say remain. State Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, said the whole thing has been flawed from the beginning.

“I’m going to give you a little prediction about how it’s gonna go from here. You pass bad policy. We point it out. You call us fear mongers. Now, people are on to you and you say ‘oh … we better fix that,” Anderson said.

Democrats said passing amendments to laws is what legislators do. Supporters of ending cash bail say people are innocent until proven guilty and shouldn’t have to languish behind bars because they can’t afford bail.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has yet to sign the changes into law.

“I’m pleased that the General Assembly has upheld the principles we fought to protect, including bringing an end to a system where those charged with violent offenses can buy their way out of jail, while others who are poor and charged with nonviolent offenses wait in jail for trial,” Pritzker said in a statement.

As of Friday, the amendments had not been advanced to the governor’s desk. Regardless, no cash bail without the amendments begins Jan. 1.

Illinois Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Jim Kaitschuk said law enforcement were already gearing up for the Pretrial Fairness Act before the changes lawmakers approved.

“And now there’s going to be kind of a reboot on that to see how these changes affect the different policies and practices that we were going to put in place in January,” Kaitschuk told The Center Square.

Adding to the pressures in the final weeks of the year is a lawsuit dozens of state’s attorneys and sheriffs have against the law’s implementation to be heard next week in Kankakee County.