State’s Attorney Candidates Face Off

Just getting around to writing up what was said at the McHenry County League of Women Voters Forum for McHenry County State’s Attorney candidates a week ago.

Facing off were Republican candidate Patrick Kenneally and Democratic Party entry Ray Flavin.

Patrick Kenneally and Ray Flavin

Patrick Kenneally and Ray Flavin

Skills cited by Flavin were being a trail attorney for twenty-two years, service in the U.S. Navy and a master’s degree in management.

Kenneally said that the post “demands not just an administrator, but a leader,’ adding he wouldn’t ask people to do something he hasn’t done.

He pointed out he had prosecuted dozens of the most dangerous criminals in McHenry County.

View of some of those attending the Forum for countywide candidates.

View of some of those attending the Forum for countywide candidates.

Heroin was an early forum subject.

Kenneally said the production was up so the price was down.  He advocating getting medical treatment for the addicted, pointing out that 25% get addicted.

He said that an addict should be able to walk into a police department and get “fast tracked to that treatment.”

Flavin pointed out that overdoses were up four times since 2000.

He expressed concern that Drug Court was closed off to some individuals.

There was a question about management experience.

Flavin was straight to the point: “I currently manage no employees.”

Patrick Kenneally

Patrick Kenneally

Kenneally talked of his managing the employees of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

“This is not something [where] you start at the top.”

Asked about consumer fraud Kenneally said he would place it in “high priority.”

He said 11% have had their identity stolen.  \

Restitution is his goal.

Flavin said, “I wouldn’t make it any priority whatsoever.  A crime is a crime in my book.”

Application of the Ethics Ordinance was the next topic.

“I don’t have any idea,” Flavin, answering first, said.

Kenneally said that he thought the rules should cover all county employees, but that the ordinance currently doesn’t apply to employees of the State’s Attorney’s Office.

He pointed out that political activities were forbidden on county property.

A special court for Veterans was the next topic.

Kenneally pointed out that Veterans “don’t always self-identify.”

He estimated that there were about 300 in the court system.

Ray Flavin

Ray Flavin

“Veterans Court is super secret,” Flavin commented.

Reducing the State’s Attorney’s budget was a question which resulted in more extensive answers.

Kenneally told of having pledged to cut the office’s budget by 10% in four years.

He said he would bring in the $200,000 in work done by outside lawyers, eliminate some positions and bring training in-house.

Flavin said the office cost the taxpayers $9 million.

If elected, he said he would cut it in half.  He said the number of crimes has gone down, while the number of lawyers has gone up.

The next question asked about plans to restructure the office.

Flavin said staff should be decreased 22% “to march the decrease in workload.”

Kenneally explained that Assistant State’s Attorneys have 150-300 cases.  He said in the past charges were reduced, for example, DUIs were reduced to speeding.

Flavin later denied that had happened.

A question about the prosecution of minors brought these replies:

  • Kenneally – “The purpose of juvenile court is rehabilitation.”
  • Flavin – “We have a pretty good diversion program for minor charges.”

Asked about how to eliminate negative publicity about the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office, Flavin said, “Elect me.”

“I would disagree with the premise in the first place…I want to run the most transparent office in McHenry County.”

He said he planned to put all expenditures for the office online.

Patrick Kenneally and Ray Flavin were center stage last Monday night at the League of Women Voters Forum.

Patrick Kenneally and Ray Flavin were center stage last Monday night at the League of Women Voters Forum.

In his concluding statement, Kenneally again related what State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi had told him on his first day, that he should “always do the right thing.”

“I want to build [on what’s already been accomplished].”

He told of the sixty trials of which only three had been lost.

Kenneally also praised the Drug and Mental Health Courts.

Flavin said, “Pat looks up to Lou Bianchi.  The problem is that Pat has trouble being critical of Lou Bianchi.

“There have been many things that have happened during Lou Bianchi’s term that have not reflected well on the office.

“The problem is that [the office] holds records for reversals.”

Flavin urged voters to take a new direction, maybe a quieter direction.”

= = = = =
Ray Flavin offers the following commentary on my story:

Alabama, I said the office costs 2.99 million dollars per year, that is quoted directly from the 2016 Annual Budget.

While I am sure that it was difficult to keep up with the Forum.

This is what I said at the forum: the office costs each taxpayer $9 (not 9 million), I did not say I would cut it in half, I said, if you were to cut the office in half that would only result in a $4.50 savings per taxpayer (about a Big Mac).

Therefore suggesting you will save property taxes by making cuts to the office is pandering.

I said there were other reasons to cut the office.

Those other reasons were that the workload had decreased, and the staff had increased.

My proposal is to cut about 10 staff and 10 attorneys.

This would result in about a 600k savings, however I would hire a new personnel/union lawyer (thus bringing the 200K outside charge that Pat wants to bring in also) but costing about 200K in additional costs.

As far as Veterans court, I was surprised that one existed.

It has not been published to local attorneys, and the VAC (Veterans Assistance Commission) did not know it existed, and I am in court every day.

As for Semper Fi.

Hiding behind an anonymous moniker is unworthy of the Corps. Either change your name or use your real name.

Or, let Cal cover your “bravery online.”

It was not a debate.

Several things that were said at the Forum were incorrect, but the format did not allow me to address those.

As far as trial skills, I will only say that I generally prevail against two lawyers who are usually getting help from a third (supervisory) lawyer.

I want you to think about that.

The perspective that I bring to the office is of one that knows all of the lawyers in the office and their capabilities.

I think we have a great staff and I am looking forward to working with them in December.


Comments

State’s Attorney Candidates Face Off — 23 Comments

  1. Go Mr. Flavin, Out with the samo samo and in with some New !!!

  2. **Flavin said the office cost the taxpayers $9 million. If elected, he said he would cut it in half.**

    LOL. That’s more amusing than Franks’ promise to cut property taxes by 10%.

  3. Alabamashake….you know not of what you speak, last count the SA had 38 attorneys.

    Sometimes 3-4 to a court room. Big time cuts could be made, SA has 2-3 lawyers to a jury trial, defense usually only one….lots of room for budget cuts.

  4. Wow this debate only proved that Flavin doesn’t know very much. He has a Masters in Management but doesn’t manage anything.

  5. I was stuck serving on a grand jury several years ago, and it was quite common to have multiple ASAs in the the grand jury room that were basically sitting around doing nothing.

    Most government agencies pad their staffing levels to a ridiculous degree.

    There is no doubt in my mind that that a well run SA’s office could do just as good of a job with far fewer employees.

  6. There’s no contest.

    Kenneally is a serious contender.

    Flavin acted like the stoners he gets off for Driving Under the Influence!

    How many times did ol’ long hair have to ask to repeat the question?

    He was ill-prepared, his answers were flippant and he acted like an arrogant goofball!

    At one time he responded with ‘what? I was day dreaming’

    Kenneally is the Law and Order Candidate and the only qualified Candidate.

    The Dems have slated in some rather unqualified candidates.

    No wonder they chose to sneak in afterwards.

    They would have never made it thru the primary.

  7. You make fun of his hair?

    The guy at the top of the Republican ticket has a dyed combover mullet, and you make fun of Mr Flavin’s hair?

  8. Kenneally has already given his plan to cut expenses.

    Eliminating some staff and cars.

    Get a grip.

    Patrick is the only one running that has strong experience for the job.

    How many cases has Flavin prosecuted??

  9. Can anyone remember when the Democrats had more than enough candidates for an office for a primary election?

    I’m thinking it may have been for a County Board race.

    Or maybe we have to go back to the State Rep. primary that Jack Franks won in 1998.

  10. The new State’s Attorney needs to do a whole lot more than eliminate ‘some’ staff.

    He needs to break out the chainsaws and gut that place.

  11. Alabama, I said the office costs 2.99 million dollars per year, that is quoted directly from the 2016 Annual Budget.

    While I am sure that it was difficult to keep up with the Forum.

    This is what I said at the forum: the office costs each taxpayer $9 (not 9 million), I did not say I would cut it in half, I said, if you were to cut the office in half that would only result in a $4.50 savings per taxpayer (about a Big Mac).

    Therefore suggesting you will save property taxes by making cuts to the office is pandering.

    I said there were other reasons to cut the office.

    Those other reasons were that the workload had decreased, and the staff had increased.

    My proposal is to cut about 10 staff and 10 attorneys.

    This would result in about a 600k savings, however I would hire a new personnel/union lawyer (thus bringing the 200K outside charge that Pat wants to bring in also) but costing about 200K in additional costs.

    As far as Veterans court, I was surprised that one existed.

    It has not been published to local attorneys, and the VAC (Veterans Assistance Commission) did not know it existed, and I am in court every day.

    As for Semper Fi.

    Hiding behind an anonymous moniker is unworthy of the Corps. Either change your name or use your real name.

    Or, let Cal cover your “bravery online.”

    It was not a debate.

    Several things that were said at the Forum were incorrect, but the format did not allow me to address those.

    As far as trial skills, I will only say that I generally prevail against two lawyers who are usually getting help from a third (supervisory) lawyer.

    I want you to think about that.

    The perspective that I bring to the office is of one that knows all of the lawyers in the office and their capabilities.

    I think we have a great staff and I am looking forward to working with them in December.

  12. I like and trust Kenneally. He proved himself through the primary that he can conduct himself well and that he has respect for the office.

    The other guy – not so much.

  13. Ray,

    Trying mostly a few DUI cases a year against attorneys fresh out of law school hardly qualifies you to be in charge of handling murder, rape, and other violent offenses.

    Serious crime does happen in McHenry County and serious crime deserves a serious response.

  14. Come on… Flavin is an absolute joke.

    The second ‘Democrat’ attorney general candidate appointed in a secret meeting.

    Neither one of them could get their s*** together to get their names on the ballot in the primary?

    Flavin has nothing.

    No experience, no clue.

  15. **The second ‘Democrat’ attorney general [sic] candidate… Flavin has nothing. No experience, no clue.**

    LOL – speaking of no clue, I’m guessing that he at least knows what position he is running for.

  16. The fact that Flavin of the Month has the time to respond to each comment on a message board speaks volumes.

    Not to mention the obvious lack of decision making skills it must take to decide to argue with people directly on social media.

    If he is and has always been the man got the job why didn’t he run in the primary?

    Why did he just now crawl out from under a rock and decide to run as though it’s been his life’s destiny?

    The reality is that it is opportunistic and gaming the system. Not to mention the monumental waste of time and money for those poor saps he was able to convince to donate their time or cash.

    Let’s not let all the noise distract us from the truth.

    Flavin of the Month is a DUI attorney with no experience actually prosecuting felony cases let alone the larger aspect of the job which is running a huge office of employees.

  17. No difference between Flavin
    & MOST of the demo candidates
    Who got slated behind closed doors
    At the last minute & DIDN’T run in
    The primary.

    Bartman ESPECIALLY !

    He even said at the LWV forum
    last night (not exact quote) that
    3 months ago he didn’t see
    Himself runnjng for the state
    Rep. Seat.

    No kidding, still is RIDICULOUS
    Both these guys are running ! ! !

  18. “A crime is a crime” frightens me.

    Sounds like everybody is guilty until they can prove otherwise.

    Reminiscent of another era.

    The one the progressives are trying to bring back?

    I think he tipped his hand with that language.

  19. Flavin isn’t serious about anything … least of all this nutty race!

  20. **Reminiscent of another era. The one the progressives are trying to bring back?**

    Huh?

    Which era are progressives trying to bring back?

  21. Whether Democrats ran in the Primary is of no point to whether they are qualified.

    The Decision could be tactical.

    The decision could be because they were approached after the fact.

    Either way- the decision is made by the Democratic party- just like the decision was made to appoint Provos replacement.

    Sure- it was covered here but don’t act like it was some open dialogue where the public could attend.

    Appointing candidates is the work of a political organization.

    If Republicans have learned NOTHING from this last primary election it is that the best candidate does not always win.

  22. Flavin said…” Several things that were said at the Forum were incorrect, but the format did not allow me to address those ”

    Welcome to the “World of Politics”

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