February 6, 2012
Pistol Packing Prosecutor Gets Proposed Supension
An Illinos Hearing Board has recommended a 60-day suspension of a former elected State's Attorney who was convicted of the aggravated assault of a licensed private detective. He had pulled a gun on the victim in the court parking lot when an attempt was made to serve him with process. The process involved a suit filed against him by his former secretary.
Dees identified himself, displayed a badge, stated that he was a process server, and called the Respondent by name. The Respondent pulled a loaded .380 semi-automatic handgun from his pocket and pointed it at Dees. Dees identified himself again, and the Respondent continued to point the gun at Dees. Dees then threw the summons and complaint at Respondent’s feet and left.
The hearing board on sanction:
After considering the cases discussed above, the nature of the Respondent’s misconduct, the mitigation, the significant aggravation- particularly the Respondent’s lack of candor and lack of remorse, along with the purpose of the attorney disciplinary system, we conclude that a suspension is appropriate in this matter. We believe that a suspension of 60 days is adequate for the public to have confidence that criminal conduct by a State’s Attorney is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, and to serve as a deterrent. We further believe that any lesser sanction would "denigrate the seriousness of [the Respondent’s] conduct and would erode public trust in the accountability of its elected officials." Sims, 144 Ill. 2d at 325.
The State's Attorney claimed he acted out of fear for his safety. The Hearing Board rejected the claim.
He has since lost his elective office. (Mike Frisch)
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