Name: Dave Carlson
Political Party: Republican
Campaign Contact: 116 North Chicago Street, Suite 301, Joliet, IL 60432; (815) 725-2430
Family: Wife, Lori; two daughters, Alexis (6) and Zoe (22 months)
Education: University of Arizona, Bachelor of Science (1993), Political Science undergraduate degree; Northern Illinois University College of Law, Juris Doctor (2001), Law Degree
Occupation: Lawyer, (Private Practice). Previously: armed probation officers, Will County Assistant State's Attorney.
Previous elected or appointed offices: I am not a career politician. I have never held an elected position. However, I did serve as a Will County Assistant State’s Attorney under two (2) Will County State’s Attorney’s, one from each political party.
Is there any additional experience you believe qualifies you for the position?
Yes. From 1994-1998 I served as an armed Adult Probation officer. This experience in law enforcement exposed me to the reality of crime and its aftermath. It honed my instincts when it comes to the behavior and habits of the criminals that threaten our law-abiding community. Unlike the incumbent I have not spent my entire career in an “ivory tower.” It’s also important to note that while I served under two separate Will County State’s Attorneys I was appointed as Lead Gang Crimes Prosecutor and prosecuted many different kinds of cases in the organized crime and narcotics division.
What would your priorities be if elected to this office?
Simply put, taking politics out of the State’s Attorney’s office.
Sixteen year incumbent State’s attorney Jim Glasgow 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 Glasgow-appointed “special prosecutor” took over the case. This political bartering will stop under my administration.
Additionally, 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. Since the incumbent’s reelection in 2008 there have been 133 deaths from heroin alone, many of whom were teens or children. Yet, 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, the Will County Narcotics Overdose Taskforce, or Will NOT, will be an all-encompassing prosecution program that will finally get justice for these victims and families.
I will also focus 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.
What sets you apart from the other candidate?
Several things set me apart from the incumbent. Over 20 years, since his first election in 1992, he has proven he is a career politician. Worst yet, instead of serving as the County’s top lawyer he has spent most of his time as a “frustrated politician” trying to make law instead of enforcing it. I have proven I am a prosecutor, not a politician, and that’s what the voters of Will County will get should they elect me.
Additionally, in cases where the good people of Will County are sued in Federal Court, Glasgow cannot represent them as their constitutionally elected State’s Attorney. Why? Because Glasgow has never been admitted to, nor is he currently a member of the Federal Trial Bar. This costs taxpayers money when outside attorneys must be hired and paid to do Glasgow’s job for him. Imagine hiring an attorney and when you arrive at court he says he can’t enter the courtroom with you, you’re on your own.
Finally, I actually try cases. I’ve successfully tried them from both sides of the aisle as a prosecutor and defense attorney. I’m aware of maybe two cases in the past fifteen years that the incumbent has actually tried.
Simply put, ask a cop. Every police endorsement given in this State's Attorney race has been given to me. From the Will County Sheriff’s Police to the Joliet Police, to Bolingbrook, New Lenox, Plainfield, Manhattan and others, the message has been sent loud and clear across this county by those who know the State’s Attorney better than anyone else. I am the right person for this job.
What do you believe is the most pressing issue facing your office for which you’re running, and how would you address it?
The lack of leadership demonstrated in the State’s Attorney’s office under Jim Glasgow has created a culture of neglect that has fostered several “pressing issues.” Because of this, first and foremost I would work diligently to bring integrity back to the office of Will County State’s Attorney. This is the very least Will County residents deserve from their top lawyer. Unfortunately is has been lacking for years.
This leaves us with quite a mess to clean up.
First, as I’ve already mentioned, we must attack the heroin epidemic. We must reach out to our children with programs aimed at drug prevention. This means working with local police departments, schools and youth organizations. Second, we must help those that have already fallen victim to the poison pushing drug dealers. We need to help them find support that assists them in their journey to recovery.
Next, we must aggressively investigate, prosecute and incarcerate the criminal leeches who dare come to our communities and poison our citizens. I will take a zero-tolerance approach to the prosecution of drug dealers so they get the message; you are not welcome in Will County.
Finally, I would take an aggressive stance to the prosecution of domestic abusers. Since his 2008 reelection Glasgow has dismissed and failed to prosecute over 60% domestic violence cases. This leaves the women and children, who are the innocent victims, alone to be abused further. I will not tolerate this.
In what ways can the county operate more efficiently and improve technologically?
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.
Third, I would put in place a system of electronic discovery. Basically storing all the information related to a case electronically as opposed to the current inefficient and wasteful system of hard copies. The amount of money saved on copying, paper and related expenses will amount to tens of thousands of dollars each year.
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.
In what ways would you promote fiscal responsibility in your department?
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. A very recent example is a dispute between Will County and two homeowners in Frankfort Square over alleged weed violations. To date the county taxpayers have paid in excess of $52,000 for qualified outside lawyers and this case is still ongoing.
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.
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.
Do you believe Cook County is encroaching on Will, and how would you make sure there isn't a negative influence in the way the county operates?
Incumbent Glasgow is one of the biggest supporters of the “colonization” of Will County by Cook County “power brokers” by his own actions. It’s bad enough that he must hire outside attorneys to do his job, but he chooses them based on political considerations and campaign contributions. Most of those he appoints as “special prosecutors” and “special investigators” are from Chicago and Cook County.
A classic example of this is the fact that one of his often used outsiders is Robert Fioretti, 2nd Ward Alderman in the City of Chicago.
What can the county do to promote job growth and draw new business to Will County?
This challenge is primarily the purview of elected legislators and the administrations that support them. I maintain that a prosecutor should be a prosecutor, not a politician or legislator.
With that said, as Will County State’s Attorney I can have a positive impact on the promotion of job growth and the attraction of new business by doing my job as the county’s top lawyer and making Will County safer. Businesses will go to a community they feel will be safe and protect their families and their investment.
Is there anything else you would like to add that you believe is important in this campaign?
The main difference between myself and Glasgow is that I believe the office is there to serve the people of Will County. He believes it exists to serve his personal and political needs.
I will not participate in the “pay to play” environment the current incumbent has created in the State’s Attorney’s office. I will not hand out jobs as patronage “prizes”, nor will I allow the continuing “colonization” of Will County by Cook County cronies of Glasgow. I will not place my name on the military veterans’ V.A.C bus. That bus is reserved for heroes and not for political advertisement.
As a seasoned lawyer and experienced prosecutor I have the ability to serve and protect the people of Will County. As a husband and father I have the motivation to make it, once again, safe for all families.