Madison County leaders for the second time in recent history are in the position of judging someone who went off the rails.
Madison County veterans advocate Brad Lavite was barred from the courthouse by the Democrats in charge after he had a post-traumatic episode and threatened to jump from a moving police car after threatening other lives just less than two years ago. He was recently allowed to return to his job in the county administration building when the Republicans took control.
Now the Democrats in minority are questioning one of their own, Kristen Poshard, who is the daughter of the former Democratic congressman, gubernatorial candidate and Southern Illinois University president. She was appointed by Republican Kurt Prenzler to be chief deputy and administrator of community development for $92,000 a year.
Poshard crashed, literally. She drove her car into a bar after she was refused another drink. The last charge was in 2008 when she shot a .357 magnum inside her boyfriend’s home in Maryville.
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As a result she got the counseling she needed to end self-destructive behaviors that she said stemmed from childhood sexual abuse.
She was hired in spite of her political pedigree or criminal record and because she successfully worked for an Illinois regional development agency, Prenzler said. She has experience with grants, housing, development and working with the poor.
That’s a novel approach in politics: hiring someone for what they know rather than who they know.
While it is nice to hire people with nothing but purity in their backgrounds, sometimes the prodigal is the better choice. Someone who faced adversity and succeeded despite it may be a better public servant when it comes to empathizing or to overcoming future challenges.
Last time we checked, there was an awful lot of glass used in the construction of the Madison County Administration Building. Be careful with those stones.