DEWITT CO. (ECWd) -
In the last two weeks we have been hammered with calls and requests for assistance to expose more wrongdoing by public officials from multiple counties. Turns out Dewitt county may not be much different than any of the others, all things considered.
Apparently, the Assistant State's Attorney felt justified in sending all the county board members an e-mail that was, let's just say over the top with sexual innuendos and a huge dose of un-professionalism.
Even more shocking, after contacting his boss for comment, the State's Attorney Karle Koritz, was his response to the matter. By the way, Mr. Koritz is yet another unopposed elected State's Attorney and he replaced his father!
The title of the letter he sent is the first thing that jumped out at me, all things considered. One must wonder how such a breach of professional conduct is deemed a courtesy matter?
What I find ironic when comparing the two, is how different the tone and content is compared to the letter he sent the board.
He stated to me, "I found it to be unacceptable and unbefitting of a state's attorney's office", yet he tells the board "this particular communication contained notes of sarcasm and a tone that were not entirely appropriate".
Which is it Mr. Koritz, unacceptable and unbefitting or not entirely appropriate?. I suspect the hope was that his response to me, which contained much sterner language, would be enough to shut the matter down so the public doesn't have to see what is going on. Unfortunately that's not the case as the two responses are distinctively different!
More concerning is the claim from the SA that he "found it to be completely out of character for Mr. Dunn" and he knows "this error in judgment will not be repeated."
In one sentence this man says it's completely out of character, which implies he had no idea he would do something like this, and then takes the position he "knows" this error in judgment will not be repeated? If you didn't think it would happen before how on earth are you going to "know" it won't be repeated?
Unacceptable to most peoples means your fired! Interesting in this case, he tells me he KNOWS it won't happen again yet he tells the board he has encouraged the Assistant to follow is path of sleeping on it before saying something he would regret.
Well, I think the Assistant State's Attorney has definitely stepped off in it with his email to the board and rest assured, I'm confident he will not forget this event for some time!
Unprofessional comments and sexual innuendos are in bold for clarity.
From Mr. Dunn to the county board of Dewitt County
Subject: Last Night
I would like all of you to know that despite last night's circus my door is still open to all of you. What was handed out last night was something I'd expect from a freshman poli sci major. It was legal Slop. It took me a grand total of about 15 minutes to find the law clearly stating this action is not possible under Illinois law in the way it has been presented (implies there is a way but just wasn't presented properly).
If any of you had come to me and asked about this beforehand I would have been able to give an answer on this issue quickly and save you embarrassment. Most things require several hours, if not days of reading to ensure I have the full picture before I present you with information. This was not one of those instances. Next time a group of you gets together at Hardeez to discuss and rehearse something like this I'd appreciate an invite. I really like the frisco burger.
Many of you don't like Karle. I get that. Trouble is, every time something like this happens you wind up pulling him closer. You can deal with him or you can deal with me. I'd prefer it if you left him alone so my almost complete autonomy in these civil matters becomes entire, and I don't even have to bother stopping by his office to let him know what I'm doing on his behalf. Let him go after the felons and delegate the civil matters to me. Life will be easier on all of us. I see the next tactic being cutting funding for his office.
Comically, this will only result in him being the person you have to deal with.Don't tease the gorilla in the monkey house. We're all stuck with each other. As far as this "attorney" you have, I hope you have him on a contingent basis and don't have to pay unless he is successful. Anyone that didn't sleep through law school knows that the legislature writes the laws, and the court interprets them. If my job was as easy as getting on the internet and reading some articles on Wikipedia I wouldn't have went through school and passed the bar exam. There are exceptions, exceptions to exceptions, and sometimes exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions.
This is why I don't give answers off the top of my head. As far as the ethical materials passed out, they are stuffed with nasty little exceptions and interpretations based upon specific instances. In Illinois, attorneys have to pass an ethics test called the MPRE, and most law schools require an ethics class. There is a reason for this. What is written in the rules of professional conduct, as with the state statutes, is only part of the story.
This will not be a close case. This is what we call a slam dunk. When your "attorney" shows up to argue this he will feel like a kid in the back seat of a car after prom. It will be awkward for him or her, painful, over quickly, and he/she will not end up getting the result that was hoped for.
If you would like to send this "attorney" to me, I'd be happy to give him a class on how to conduct legal research. At only 30 dollars an hour, my offer is a steal compared to what universities charge per credit hour. It includes basic theory, use of Westlaw, ilga.gov, and other services. I don't know if one of you has incriminating material on the others. That is the only way I can comprehend six of you following each other like lemmings. If there are pictures of any of you with strippers or something worse let me know, and we'll discuss your options. If you want to play local government Game of Thrones, that's fine. Just let me help you do it right. We're getting calls from other attorneys laughing about this.
Well, while Mr. Dunn is getting calls from other attorneys laughing about this I can say we are getting calls from the public, who pay his salary and they are not laughing. They believe the State's Attorney's statement to me is spot on.
Such behavior is unacceptable, yet from all indications the State's Attorney isn't a man of his word. If he was, unacceptable would be just that.
So what started this little hornets nest swarming? A vote of no confidence from the County Board as it relates to their legal representation. My hats off to the county board for having the courage to stand up to these folks and recognize a problem and trying to fix it. Sadly, I don't think there is a fix other than voting them out, unless they can convince the Chief Judge to appoint a special prosecutor and I don't see that happening.
Stay tuned for more updates on this one as the leads of troubled spots in Dewitt are rolling in!