Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois on November 18, 1995 · Page 9
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Journal Gazette from Mattoon, Illinois · Page 9

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Mattoon, Illinois
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Saturday, November 18, 1995
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Page 9
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Judge convicted of drug violation receives disability pension PEORIA (AP) Drug use got Associate Judge Arthur Gross tossed off the bench and convicted of a felony. But it won't keep him from collecting more than $76,000 a year in disability payments for the rest of his life. The state Judges Retirement System has ruled that the former Peoria County has a permanent disability and can collect 85 percent of his old $90,241 salary. The payments are retroactive to July, when Gross was last paid. He also gets health and life insurance. Gross was arrested in a cheap hotel after buying cocaine from an undercover police officer in January. Officials said they believe he had been using drugs since 1990. In August, Gross was sen tenced to two years probation, given a fine and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service. But the law says only convictions involving official duties can cost a judge his pension and disability benefits. Other convictions are irrelevant, said Rudy Kink, manager of the Judges Retirement System. ' The 53-year-old Gross, who served about 25 years on the bench, would not be eligible for retirement benefits until age 60. The disability ruling gives him essentially the same benefits seven years sooner. Privacy laws bar the system from revealing the medical condition that qualifies Gross for permanent disability. At his trial, Gross blamed his drug and alcohol addictions on depres sion, and his lawyer has said Gross suffers from Tourette's syndrome. Kink said drug addiction also could be considered a disability. "Any kind of a medical condition can be a disability. It just depends on how severe it is," Kink said. Applicants must provide two doctors' statements confirming a disability, and then the retire ment system would arrange its own examination. As long as the disability was present during the judge's tenure on the bench, later developments don't matter, Kink said. f Gross' attorney, Ronafd Hamm, would not discuss h,is client's disability. He said Gross has completed court-ordered medical, psychiatric and addiction treatments. ; McLean Co. state's attorney, opponent brawl after speaking to police group AP Photo hocked in Glenn Ashoff of Granite City, watches as barges make their way through the locks at Lock 27 at the Melvin Price center in Granite City Friday. The facility handles barges through a channel that runs next to the Mississippi River near St Louis. Employees at Lock 27 and flour other locks in the area are members of the Corps of Engineers and are considered essential employees of the federal government and are not affected by the budget shutdown. BLOOMINGTON (AP) First they talked it out Then they dukeditout The McLean County state's attorney and his Republican primary opponent tangled in a fist-fight Thursday night after speaking to a police union meeting. None of the officers at the meeting which continued after the candidates left saw the scuffle. "I don't like the picture this paints. I don't think either of us were on our best behavior," said the prosecutor, Charles Reynard. The challenger, Pat Brady, suffered a cut on the forehead and says he plans to have criminal assault charges filed against Reynard. The prosecutor says he punched and kicked Brady after Brady grabbed Reynard's shoulder and wouldn't let go. "I was swinging at him and I probably looked like a fool," Reynard told television station WMBD Thursday night. "I was swinging at him because I wanted to be loose of him." Brady says Reynard began shouting expletives at him after the two left the meeting of the Po- A ,A : ; , ' ' ""V' Reynard lice Benevolent and Protective Association. Brady said he never touched Reynard and did nothing to provoke an attack. "I said to him, "Charlie, this is no way to run a campaign. We can't be doing this. The people deserve better.' And I think that's what set him off," Brady said. Reynard said Brady was exaggerating the number of punches Brady and kicks thrown and misrepresenting his eight-year record-as county prosecutor. "I feel set up," Reynard said. Both men were seeking the police union's endorsement in the GOPprimaryfor state's attorney. Brady has disputed figures released by Reynard aboutthe prosecutor's conviction rate for serious crimes. 5 Senate Republicans clean up with end of fall session SPRINGFIELD (AP) In the t end, Pate prevailed. ' Senate President James ?Pate" Philic R-Wood Dale, went finto the fall veto session with a ;minimalist agenda. For the most part, he accomplished that. & GOPGov. Jim Edgar's modest, I'yet highest-profile proposal to l raise taxes on the state's most lucrative riverboat casinos was dead before it even got into the Lwater. '. And House Speaker Lee Daniels, R-Elmhurst, failed to pass highly trumpeted proposals to rewrite voter registration laws and to crack down on workers' compensation fraud. But Daniels and his troops finally sent the governor their highly touted sex-offender legislation -"but only after Philip and his Senate Republicans orchestrated what became the center of a contentious political brawl. The bill that allows residents to find out if a convicted child molester lives in the neighborhood was linked to another proposal that would fund a program for underground leaking fuel storage tanks. House Democrats decried putting the two diverse issues together because they supported the sex-offender provision. House Minority Leader Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, and his troops had opposed the tank issue because they viewed it as a hidden tax increase that will be picked up by consumers. The proposal would put a $60 charge for a 7,500-gallon tanker-load of fuel to raise $46 million a year to reimburse gas station owners who need to clean up the buried, leaking tanks. .., Because the measure included anti-crime legislation, many Democrats feared it was too politically risky to vote against the bill. They did not want to take the chance of voting against a head-line-grabbing crime bill, face a potential voter backlash or be bombarded by 1996 Republican campaign brochures that paint De mocrats as soft on crime. Even so, Madigan still feels he can use the tax issue against Republicans even though several Democrats felt forced to voted for it "It's very clear to everybody in Illinois that this is a Republican government," Madigan said. "Whatever happens here is done only by Republicans, only their approval." - - The measure also contained provisions that would make it easy for bosses to eavesdrop on telephone conversations between an employee and a customer an issue Madigan said is likely to be challenged by a labor union. Another provision pushed by Edgar would mandate that minors 13 or older be prosecuted as adults in cases where they are charged with first-degree murder in connection with criminal sexual assault or aggravated kidnap- ping. Current law is 15 or older. The governor also won passage of legislation that keeps in place the office of mental health inspector general up to the year 2000. It also would expand the power of that office to include, community-based agencies '5 5 The General Assembly turned back two local school district requests to waive the state ban on corporal punishment. Addison boy found dead ADDISON (AP) Adaylong search ended in disappointment Friday as police found the body of an 8-year-old boy believed snatched from an apartment where his pregnant 28-year-old mother and 10-year-old sister were found slain. Deborah Evans and her daughter! Sainantha,"were dis-eovererf dead m tlieir Addison apartment shortly before 3 a.m. Evans' 8-year-old son, Joshua, was missing, and local police mounted a search for him with the help of the Illinois State Police. Police even used a helicopter mounted with infrared equipment to aid the search. j The youngster was found about 12 hours later and 10 miles east ofhere in Maywood, a suburb just outside the city of Chicago. Another son, Jordan, g 2, was found unharmed in the apartment, police said. Evans, who was nine months pregnant, and her daughter had been stabbed and Evans shot in the ' head. - It 1 0 off with this Coupon" Country Classic RockJ3 Blues Jazz j Classical Special Orders 2 day delivery at no cost mm amam uMam t r - Rv Phone I C T I Open 10am 401 Lincoln Ave. 9pm Everyday 345-2884 mi mm mm mm mm mm mm COUPON mm i BIEiaiBlBMBMBiaBJaMBIBMBIBlB m 1 1 6 m 1 1 I "St v B ma 1 I .ma Dear Coles County Residents: (The following is the unedited version of the press release sent to the newspaper) After talking with my family and considering the current demands that the coroner's office has placed on myself and my family, I have decided not to seek re-election. I will, of course, complete the remaining year of my term with the same care and concern that I started with in 1992. I believe during my current tenure that I have helped raise public consciousness of safety through various programs. I have participated in a n umber of crash reenactments, both on the high school and college levels. These reenactments have served to reinforce the goal every citizen should have of NO DRINKING while driving, and safety through the diligent wearing of seat belts. I have also shown the Dick Lynch slide presentation on a number of occasions, and have served as a co-chairman of Red Ribbon Week at the beginning of my term, which promotes a drug freesociety at the grade school, junior high, and high school levels.! have spoken at Judge CinVs D. U.I. seminar program and was recently asked to participate again. In essence, I have tried to move the role of coroner and his deputies from the strict role of death investigators, to ones who can also raise public awareness in-safety and prevention of unnecessary deaths. I sincerely hope that whomever succeeds me in the office of coroner, willcontinue to move the coroner's office along this direction of prevention. I appreciate very much the support I have received from my family, friends, many professionals, hospital staff , police agencies, my deputies, and especially from the voters of Coles County. My announcement now will allow plenty of time for a number of good candidates to file their petitions, and to seek your votes in the November 1996 election. Thankyou, once again jor your support. John R. Schilling Coles County Coroner Store Phone ... rrrnnxi 235-3191 JV1V1 1UUJl 235-3126 East Rte. 16-Cross County Mall Daily 9-9, Sunday 10-5 Pharmacy Hours: Sat.-9-6-Sun. 10-5 Mon. thru Fri.-9-9 Store Phone RY Phone 345-2155 CHARLESTON 345.2233 ' . 1430 "E" Street , Daily 8-10, Sunday 9-7 Pharmacy Hours: Sat.-8-6-Sun. 10-6 Mon. thru Fri. -8-10 iV-.iiMnM.nrrrm A&V7nG9TDER,7lP, SIMM ORANGE, CANADA BUY GEVGEMLE 12 Pack 12 Oz. 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