St. Clair County Chief Judge John Baricevic would just as soon not talk about the drug scandal at the courthouse. When he gave a speech at a breakfast meeting this week, he didn't even mention the topic.
But he isn't ducking the problem either. When asked by our reporter afterward what it will take to restore confidence in the judiciary, Baricevic answered that it will take judges doing their jobs each day and responding to the needs of citizens..
Baricevic has made himself available for comment since the news broke that a judge died of a drug overdose while out with another judge who has since resigned. We appreciate his willingness to talk about a sensitive subject.
Politicians don't do themselves any favors when they refuse to comment to our reporters about tough subjects. Like us or hate us, the BND newspaper and website provide news and information to their constituents. Not commenting is a missed opportunity to get their views out to the public.
During his speech, Baricevic said that when citizens are involved in the judicial process, they become the conscience of the community. He is right.
When politicians openly address citizens' concerns, they encourage public participation in government and show themselves as the leaders they were elected to be.