Dave Carlson: Candidate Profile
Will State's Attorney
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Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Office sought: Will State's Attorney
Family: Married father of two: wife Lori, daughters Alexis 6, Zoe 2
Occupation: Current: Private Attorney (Former: Prosecutor & armed Probation Officer)
Education: University of Arizona, Bachelor of Science (1993)Political Science Northern Illinois University College of Law, Juris Doctor (2001)Law Degree
Civic involvement: St. Francis Health Center Advisory Board Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce Shorewood Chamber of Commerce Will County Farm Bureau Illinois State Rifle Association National Rifle Association Member of the Will and Grundy Counties Center for Independent Living St. Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church (Aurora, IL Freedom Elementary School PTO (Plainfield, IL)
Elected offices held: none
Have you ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime? If yes, please explain: No
Key Issue 1
Simply put, taking politics out of the State?s Attorney?s office. The current State?s attorney has made the office into a political patronage machine that rewards campaign supporters at the expense of taxpayers. Additionally, he protects those politically connected from prosecution not based on the merit of the case but rather who they are and who they know. Two good examples are the cases of famed boxer Andrew Golota, who saw his Will County charges dismissed while Cook County refused to do so, and a battery case against Democratic Candidate for Illinois State Rep. Natalie Manley, who saw her charges dismissed after a ?special prosecutor? took over the case. This political bartering will stop under my administration.
Key Issue 2
From day one, I will launch an all-out attack against heroin and other narcotics and those who bring these poisons to Will County. I will implement a zero tolerance approach which will include using the ?drug induced homicide statute? to put those dealing these poisons behind bars. There were over thirty (30) deaths from heroin alone last year and not a single drug dealer was charged with homicide. To supplement my aggressive prosecution of these criminals, I will roll out a three-pronged program that will address prevention, support and prosecution. This program will be unveiled very soon once I?ve finished finalizing its structure and implementation.
Key Issue 3
Utilizing the resources of the State?s Attorney?s office to protect seniors who have been largely ignored. I will have dedicated and trained personnel on staff to deal with crimes involving seniors. We cannot continue to allow devastating crimes such as home invasions, burglaries, identity theft and fraud, to be committed against our parents, grandparents and other seniors. I will not stand for this.
How can the state's attorney's office be improved upon? What changes in operation do you propose? Please be specific.
By focusing on the singular mission of the State?s Attorney?s office, protect all the residents of Will County. Every resource at the disposal of that office should be directed towards that simple but important goal. We must also take the politics out of charging decisions. There is currently a mindset that the position and appearance of the State?s Attorney is more important than the people he is trusted to serve. There can be nothing further from the truth. The Office exists to act as the lawyer for all those in the County. When the State?s Attorney believes his own best interests are above those of the citizens, it is time for a change. In reality, this election is a job interview for the residents of Will County to hire their lawyer. If any individual hired a lawyer, who put his interests above those of his client?s, it would be clear that the lawyer should be fired. Unfortunately, this is what has happened here. We must stop wasting taxpayers? dollars on ?special prosecutors? by having the State?s Attorney?s office do what it is constitutionally commissioned to do, prosecute criminals. Stop wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars for a ?Media Relations? department with a staff commissioned to ?spin? the prosecution and outcome of cases while protecting the ?image? of their boss. Replace it with a Community Outreach and Citizens? Information Department that will reach out to the residents of Will County to educate and support them, in turn preventing citizens from becoming victims of crime while assisting those that have already been victimized.
What is the proper starting salary for an assistant state's attorney in Will County? How would you fund raises for state's attorney employees so they can keep pace with other counties?
I believe the current starting salary of approximately $50,000 per year is very appropriate. When I started as a young prosecutor the pay was in the $30,000 range, and I was happy to be making that. As a small business owner I appreciate the value of a dollar and the importance of spending wisely, and government at all levels, including the State?s Attorney?s office, has to realize this. It is my opinion that the Assistant State?s Attorneys in Will County are compensated fairly and the salaries for the positions are competitive with, if not better than, most surrounding counties. Finally, I would like to state that being The State?s Attorney or an Assistant State?s Attorney, comes with an honor and pride that should motivate those who hold those positions as much as their salaries. It is a belief that I have always held and I find that to be missing from many in the current administration. There are plenty of government jobs for bureaucrats, just not in the office of the State?s Attorney and not under my watch.
What improvements do you propose in the use of technology by the state?s attorney?s office? Be specific.
First, I would use the internet and social media to communicate with and inform Will County citizens of current issues dealing with their safety and the security of their families. Additionally I would establish crime prevention and reporting network whereby residents can report criminal activity or ongoing problems to the State?s Attorney, which then can then be reviewed and dealt with expediently and appropriately. Second, Implement a system of computer based storage of discovery materials. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are wasted by the current administrations antiquated procedure of making photocopies of documents and sending them through the U.S. ?snail? mail. This is a waste pure and simple. Digital storage and sharing is done in court systems all over the country with the transfer of this material by electronic means. It is cost effective, makes the retrieval of information easier and more expedient, and most importantly improves the functioning and efficiency of the office. Finally, improve the lines of communication between law enforcement in the region. A major focus will be to work with the Department of Corrections to have an accurate, electronic notification system detailing all information of those inmates who are being released to parole in Will County. It allows law enforcement to better protect the victim and our community at large.
Describe the state?s attorney?s office?s conviction rate. Are you satisfied with the number of convictions versus the number of plea deals? Why or why not?
The ?conviction rate? is not a good measure of the State?s Attorney?s performance. Allowing criminals to plead to lesser offenses, or ones that don?t require the same punishment, look to be a ?good conviction?, but in reality are often times a ?deal with the devil.? It has been Glasgow?s practice to plead out most cases with a ?slap on the wrist?, sending these criminals back into the community to victimize more innocent people. One example is a case where a foreign-national was accused of molesting a young girl who was a relative. When the charges were so dramatically reduced for yet another statistic, the judge was so offended by the deal he refused to accept it. Unfortunately, the molester who was on bond, fled to Ethiopia. This is common practice under Glasgow and has to change. Prosecuting for statistics is like teaching kids to do well on standardized tests; looks good on paper but doesn?t address the problem.
Describe efforts the state?s attorney?s office has or should make in the area of crime prevention.
The State?s Attorney and his team can reach out to the community directly and through the various police departments throughout the county. This communication and partnering has been sorely lacking for far too many years. Reaching out directly can take the form of going into the community, to schools, to civic organizations, where we can inform and educate the public. This can arm law-abiding residents to better avoid becoming a victim while also educating the children so they do not decide to turn to crime as they grow older. It would also give the State?s Attorney?s office the opportunity to hear what the residents truly need, what is important to them and what they identify as the pressing problems in their communities. Working together with the police means forming a meaningful, ongoing relationship with each and every department. In so doing we can work together to identify what the best unique strategy is for a particular community and offer the support and resources tailored to that department?s needs. This would be the most important mission of my Community Outreach & Citizens Information Department. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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