Suburban cop, Special Olympian star in Dunkin' Donuts ad
An online ad promoting next week's Dunkin' Donuts' "Cop on a Rooftop" fundraiser for Special Olympics features a couple of familiar faces in DuPage County law enforcement circles.
The video pairs Westmont Deputy Chief Brian Gruen and Special Olympics athlete Erin Compton, the daughter of retired Westmont police Sgt. Greg Compton.
"I love to be an athlete. When the crowd cheers it makes me feel so much happy. I feel proud and amazing, and a dream come true," Erin says in the video.
Erin, 12, lives in Westmont and attends Walker Elementary School in Clarendon Hills. She competes in rhythmic gymnastics and also won the 2012 Illinois Miss Amazing Pageant.
Starting at 5 a.m. next Friday, May 19, officers will be on the roofs of 274 Dunkin' Donuts throughout the state, including 120 in the North, West and Northwest suburbs, collecting money for Special Olympics. The annual fundraiser has raised nearly $3.2 million in its 14 years.
For a list of locations, visit www.soill.org/event/dunkin-donuts-cop-on-rooftop/.
Lawyers behaving better
Crooked lawyer jokes aside, could it be that attorneys are behaving better these days?
That's one conclusion from the latest report of the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, the state agency that deals with lawyers who run afoul of the law or the profession's ethical obligations.
The ARDC brought formal disciplinary proceedings against 79 attorneys in 2016, the fewest in 28 years and down 68 percent from a decade ago. The number of complaints to the ARDC also fell last year, to 5,401, the fewest since 1988.
Why the drop?
"We don't know for sure, but (better behavior) is certainly the hope," Jim Grogan, deputy administrator and chief counsel for the ARDC told us.
Grogan said one possible reason for the better behavior is a state Supreme Court mandate that attorneys undergo continuing legal education to maintain their law licenses, something not required before 2005.
Scott Kozlov, the ethics committee chairman for the Northwest Suburban Bar Association, credited efforts by the ARDC (for which he also works), noting, for example, that viewership is up for webinars about legal ethics.
"I think it has a lot to do with outreach," said Kozlov, of Arlington Heights. "Attorneys at the ARDC frequently give speeches at law firms, government agencies, corporations and elsewhere about legal ethics, and I'd like to think we're seeing the effects of that."
Lots of lawyers
Some other finds in the ARDC report:
• There are 64,295 registered lawyers in Illinois, up from 60,370 in 2006. A whopping 70 percent of them are based in Cook County.
• The law is still a predominantly male field -- 62 percent of the state's registered lawyers are men. But that's down from 67 percent in 2006 and 74 percent in 1996.
• Of the 103 attorneys sanctioned by the state Supreme Court last year, 34 were disbarred. Eleven got off with a censure or reprimand.
• Attorneys can be a charitable bunch. Nearly half did some pro-bono work last year, together performing nearly 1.9 million hours of free service. Illinois lawyers donated another $16 million to legal aid organizations in 2016.
James R. Kruger Jr.
Hail to the chief
Oak Brook Police Chief James R. Kruger, Jr. was sworn in last month as the 69th president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.
"These are challenging times in our profession, but at the same time they are an extremely exciting time of change and growth," Kruger said in his installation speech. "We know in our hearts that there is much more support for law enforcement at the local level than what is portrayed nationally. However, that focus has also provided an opportunity for us to take the lead and be the change."
Kruger, who will lead the 1,300-member organization for one year, has been Oak Brook's chief since 2011. Before that he was chief in Roselle and Winfield and a commander in Carpentersville.
Joining him on the ILACP's 10-member board are Buffalo Grove Police Chief (and past president) Steve Casstevens, Fox Lake Chief Russell Laine, Des Plaines Chief William Kushner and Crystal Lake Chief James Black.
Don't get distracted
Greg Smith of the DuKane chapter of ABATE, a West Chicago-based motorcycling advocacy group, tells us members saw 217 people doing the distracted-driving thing -- looking at cellphones or other devices -- during a two-hour check Saturday along Route 47 from Lily Lake to Yorkville. Members of the group were stationed at six intersections, holding signs urging drivers to pay attention to the road. May is Motorcycle Awareness Month.
William Crowley, left, and Kenneth Spaeth are accused of stealing thousands from the Kendall County Food Pantry.
Pantry trial postponed
The trial of two men charged with stealing as much as $200,000 from the former Kendall County Food Pantry has been moved to Aug. 21.
Good thing, because lawyers will need time to pore through some 17,000 pages of documents one of the defense attorneys subpoenaed from the bank where suspect Kenneth Spaeth worked and the pantry had its account.
Spaeth, 55, of Sandwich, and William Crowley, 77, of Arizona, face felony theft charges alleging they pilfered thousands of dollars from the pantry between 2013 and 2016.
• Got a tip? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (847) 427-4483.