On the heels of San Francisco voters’ resounding move to reject their progressive District Attorney, State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) is renewing his call for the Illinois House to take up House Bill 5712. The legislation would allow citizens the ability to recall the Cook County State’s Attorney. Current Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has courted controversy with a number of questionable decisions.
“The people of San Francisco sent a clear message this week that progressive prosecutors like Kim Foxx should pay attention to; soft on crime policies have created a crisis of confidence in our judicial system that the public won’t ignore,” said Butler. “Kim Foxx’s decisions to give preferential treatment to defendants like Jussie Smollett, even calling his eventual conviction a ‘kangaroo prosecution,’ and refusing to file charges against known gang members have shown her continued disregard for crime victims. The public has lost faith in her ability to fulfill her elected duty and deserves the ability to pursue a recall election.”
While crime rates have been on the rise in Cook County, Foxx’s prosecutorial decisions have baffled the public. Last fall, she cited mutual combat when refusing to file charges in a case where five gang members exchanged over 70 shots that left one dead and two others wounded. More recently, she also refused to file charges against a felon who was illegally in possession of a firearm he used to kill another man.
Most controversial was Foxx’s decision to drop charges against Jussie Smollett for his faked hate crime. An independent investigation found that Foxx’s office had committed “substantial abuses of discretion and operational failures” in her office’s handling of the initial prosecution.
“The numerous issues surrounding Kim Foxx, and the complete lack of confidence the people have in her abilities as State’s Attorney, underscore the need for citizens to have the ability to recall someone in this vitally important position,” said Butler. “This will give Cook County residents the ability to take back their justice system and stop the cycle of violent criminals not being charged and released back onto the streets.”
HB 5712 sets up a process for voters to initiate a recall election within 60 days of petitions being certified by the Cook County Clerk. The petitions must be signed by registered voters from Cook County, equaling at least five percent of the total votes cast in the preceding Cook County State’s Attorney election.