State of the State's Attorneys Office

November  05, 2013

     New hires, and a strong emphasis on drug cases, are highlights of the past year for the Rock Island County State's Attorney. This afternoon, John McGehee gave a "state of the office address" one year after he was first elected. 

     The three new hires include one new prosecutor to focus on misdemeanor and traffic cases, one for cases involving the abuse of women and children, and a third new attorney to help handle drug cases.

     "I want to make sure people understand that crime doesn't pay. We've become very aggressive in going after drug dealers' assets. So that's what my drug prosecutor is doing now - he's working full-time just in the prosecution of drug cases and drug forfeiture cases."

     Rock Island County can afford the new drug prosecutor thanks to a state grant and money earned from forfeited assets. Money for the other two comes from the county's general fund.  His office now has 14 attorneys, and 11 support staff.

     McGehee says in the coming year he wants to update computers and other technology to better handle the caseload. And continue working with a new state law that offers a new kind of probation for some first-time offenders.

     "They stay in this probation for one year and they're required to do certain things - be evaluated, seek treatment, and pay fines or restitution. And at the end of that one year period, the case can be dismissed against them."

     Starting in January, 17 year olds who commit crimes in Illinois will no longer be considered adults, but have their cases handled in juvenile court. And he worries he may have to assign an attorney just to handle juvenile cases if the numbers go up significantly.