Which came first, the chicken or the Stone?
St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly said it would have been unethical for him to investigate fellow Democrat and County Coroner Rick Stone for serving subpoenas without a license. He also says he made it clear to the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation that he would appoint a special prosecutor if asked to do so.
Funny all these little missed connections. Illinois State Police weren’t interested. State regulators never forwarded their file on Stone. Kelly ethically blocked from investigating or even calling on someone else to investigate.
Don’t ask, don’t tell, too late — the statute of limitations is over for any criminal case against Stone.
Stone said he made about $9,000 over two years delivering subpoenas to people who owed money to a local hospital, or at least playing chauffeur. Stone had a helper do the hoofing to the doors because of his health preventing him from climbing stairs.
Considering he made only $91,647 last year at his county job, we can certainly see the need to supplement his income.
The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation fined Stone $10,000 for delivering the subpoenas without a license. Stone thought the delivery service was a perk of the coroner’s job, but no — that was only if the sheriff couldn’t do it. To do so privately he needed a private detective’s license or certification that he was working for one.
Stone used a county car and says he paid for the gas without being able to prove that. At one point Kelly said Stone didn’t think he was breaking the law, so there was no criminal intent. What’s that line about ignorance of the law as an excuse? Did someone really need to tell Stone he shouldn’t be using his taxpayer-provided car for his personal enrichment?
Maybe the bigger question is why are these guys in office for life or until they go to prison or until they do something so morally reprehensible that there is no choice but to boot them. Groping employees will get you out of office in St. Clair County, but not trying to make a buck through ethically and legally challenged means.