Bob Fioretti: Candidate profile
Office sought: Cook County state's attorney
Family: Spouse, Nicki Pecori Fioretti
Occupation: Civil Rights attorney
Education: University of Illinois-Champaign, BA; Northern Illinois University, JD
Civic involvement: Easter Seals, Pullman Foundation, Northern Illinois Alumni Foundation
Elected offices held: Alderman, 2nd Ward of Chicago, 2007-2015; 2nd Ward Democratic committeeman, 2008-2016
Incumbent? If yes, when were first elected:
Questions and Answers
1. Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
The residents of Cook County are not safe due to the policies of this State's Attorney. As a civil rights attorney, I have worked my entire career for a criminal justice system that treats everyone equally under the law. This goal is not mutually exclusive with keeping residents safe from violent criminals.
2. How pertinent is the Jussie Smollett case to this election? If it should have been handled differently, how so?
Kim Foxx's handling of the Smollett case was a disgrace and should be a cause for her resignation. She allowed her conduct in office to be influenced by a phone call from an important person and then lied about recusing herself from the case. But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of why Kim Foxx has to go.
3. How pertinent is criminal justice reform to this election? What should the state's attorney's office be doing in regards to that issue?
As a civil rights attorney I have long advocated for bail reform and other changes in the criminal justice system to make it more fair and equitable for everyone. The State's Attorney plays a big role in whether everyone is treated equally under the law. I have based my entire legal career on that concept.
4. What crime should be the office's top target. Drugs? Gang violence? Child sex abuse? Something else? Why? What steps will you take to address the priorities as you see them?
Violent crime should be the top priority. The people of Cook County must not only be safe, they must feel safe. I will end the revolving door of catch and release of violent criminals. I will work with the federal government to get illegal guns off the street.
But common sense and the law say that if you want to get those guns off the street the people who have them on the streets must be kept off the streets. Illegal use of a weapon (UUW) cannot be treated as if it is a minor crime. That will change when I am State's Attorney.
5. Describe your position regarding the allocation of resources in the state's attorney's office. Are personnel allocated as they should be? Are there capital expense or other budgetary items that the office must address, and, if so, how do you propose to address them?
One of the arguments for reducing the amount of crimes prosecuted (such as the legalization of marijuana) is that it was supposed to save taxpayers a large amount of money through reduced budgets of the State's Attorney and Sheriff's office.
Those savings have not been realized. The current State's Attorney has too many political appointees in "policy positions." The office needs fewer political appointees and more career prosecutors to handle the violent crime epidemic.
6. Name one concrete program you'll create or personnel move you'll make to improve efficiency in the office or make it more successful. Explain how it will be funded and how you will overcome any obstacles to initiating it.
I have long been an advocate of the County having its own crime lab. The State Crime Lab does a terrific job but they are completely overwhelmed by the volume of the evidence from crimes they receive. The backlog is one reason that trials take so long to be completed in Cook County.
As for funding, we have world class universities and hundreds of law enforcement communities in Cook County and adjacent counties to partner with. I believe this is doable and would be a welcome addition to Chicago area law enforcement agencies.