The Kane County State's Attorney's Office recently honored three employees for their work in 2012, including Pam Monaco as Prosecutor of the Year -- an award she also earned in 2008.
"Pam's dedication to justice and to her victims has made it clear that she is doing her life's work," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said. "She is committed to getting to the bottom of every case and has the tenacity to see it through. She is an invaluable asset to the people of Kane County and to our office."
Police Liaison Linda Hagemann, a longtime employee of the office, was named Employee of the Year.
Assistant State's Attorney Megan Matuska was the recipient of the Ace of Spades Award for excellence in the courtroom.
Monaco, an assistant state's attorney who joined the office in 1993, is the first two-time winner of the award.
She is credited with securing guilty pleas in several key cases: Former West Aurora High School music instructor Steve Orland, a 44-year-old North Aurora resident who had sexual contact with two of his students and was sentenced to 12 years in prison; Michael Listy, a 33-year-old St. Charles man who forcibly raped an acquaintance in 2010 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison; and David Szalonek, a 19-year-old from Algonquin who was accused of murdering his father in 2010. He pleaded guilty in the case early this year and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Monaco's work also helped lead to the indictment in early 2012 of Dean Fuerstenberg, a 44-year-old Minnesota man who is accused of having sex with two teenage students at a Kane County area martial arts school where he taught in 2003. He is next due in court May 3.
Hagemann, who grew up in St. Charles and is a lifelong Kane County resident, is the key contact for all police officers.
"Linda brings great passion to our office, and police officers constantly tell me that she is a great help to them. Linda clearly loves her job, so much so that she claims to know the name and contact information of every police officer in the county. We haven't found her to be wrong, yet," McMahon said.
She also works with victims to obtain emergency orders of protection, and as an advocate, works with domestic violence victims.
She helps area police chiefs arrange an annual memorial service held during Police Week, and she has volunteered for the Torch Run for Special Olympics for the last 14 years.
Matuska was recognized for her excellence in the courtroom. The Ace of Spades Award is based on several factors, including the number of trials completed, complexity of the trials completed, and willingness to serve as co-counsel to other prosecutors.