Probation, jail for Elgin Tower arsonist

A 59-year-old homeless man recently pleaded guilty to setting fire earlier this year to an elevator at the iconic, art deco Elgin Tower Building.

Tommy W. McBurney was sentenced to two years probation and released after spending 94 days in jail.

He also was banned from the property and fined $1,015 for starting the May 11 at the tower, 100 E. Chicago St., which a developer now wants to buy and convert into 45, one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Kane County Judge Karen Simpson accepted the guilty plea earlier this month, according to court records.

If McBurney violates his probation, he could be resentenced to up to seven years in prison.

McBurney was arrested in early June and charged with felony arson.

The building has had its share of issues this year and was condemned in May.

Around the office:

Christine Bayer, a Kane County assistant state's attorney since 1997, has been appointed to the office's priority prosecution unit to fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Pam Monaco earlier this year.

Bayer will prosecute sexual assault cases.

“She's going to be a great addition,” said Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon.

In other news, Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Kelley Flinn was one of dozens of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and volunteers honored earlier this month at the Mother's Against Drunk Driving Heroes Banquet in Springfield.

Swim, bike, run:

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon completed his first Ironman Triathlon Sept. 7 in Madison, Wisconsin.

McMahon said he finished in 12 hours, 23 minutes and 41 seconds.

The feat earned him a standing ovation at a Kane County Board meeting last week. McMahon said he used a 24-week training program to prepare for the event, which included a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile full marathon.

McMahon said the marathon was the most difficult segment because it was the last.

“The goal was to finish, finish healthy and I did,” said the Elgin resident. “It was great.”

Finishing strong:

The final charity car show organized by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez exceeded its goal of raising $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Perez, who is stepping down later this year after serving two, 4-year terms, said the event raised $11,500 for the charity.

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