Why the belated interest in the Rick Stone case? We're baffled. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly has known since at least May 2011 that Stone, the county coroner, served summonses in hundreds of civil cases without the required state license. But in July 2011 Kelly told our reporter that he wasn't concerned about criminality because there was no intent to deceive and Stone ceased doing it.
Then more than 15 months after that comment -- and more than three months after the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation fined Stone the maximum $10,000 -- Kelly notified the department that he will appoint a special prosecutor if requested.
So was Kelly's legal take on this case wrong at the start? Or has he belatedly decided that he doesn't want any appearance that he let a fellow Democrat off the hook? Interestingly, Kelly sent his letter just days before the November election. Coincidence?
Whatever the explanation, the delayed offer of action seems odd. At this point, we think Kelly ought to appoint a special prosecutor whether the state requests it or not.