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Letters to the Editor

State’s Attorney transparency

McMahon should answer questions before him

On behalf of Kane County taxpayers, a dozen of whom came to voice their disapproval at the September 13, 2018 Judicial and Public Safety Committee meeting, I ask two questions of Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon.

Who is paying for the two-year-old prosecution of the Laquan McDonald case in Cook County?Obviously Kane County taxpayers are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars -- without Kane County Board permission, or even any discussion.

How much is the Cook County case costing Kane County taxpayers?

Joe McMahon arrogantly and repeatedly refuses to answer this obviously fair question, stating instead, “How I run the State’s Attorney's Office – my office – is none of your business.” (August 16, 2018)

Joe McMahon is using his time and at least four other prosecutors, which cost Kane County taxpayers $708,000 per year. He argues in Cook County, “No one is above the law; the rules (of accountability) apply to everyone”, but does differently in Kane County.

It may be legal to accept a voluntary position on a publicity-ladened lawsuit in a sister county, but it’s  wrong to refuse to say which employees have been taken off Kane County legal business, assigned to a complicated, expensive Cook County prosecution, and to refuse to provide even an approximate accounting.

McMahon tries to cleverly mischaracterize legitimate requests to answer obviously fair budgetary questions as “playing politics”.He ignores that neither of us are currently running for office.

And, it was the politically-ambitious McMahon who most recently explored a run for Illinois Attorney General and also applied for the Northern District’s U.S. Attorney’s position in the Trump Administration.

McMahon’s distraction from Kane County defense cases and political ambition have cost Kane County literally millions in misguided settlements.

We should be given the answers to two questions, i.e. “who?” and “how much?"

Chris Lauzen

Kane County Board Chairman

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