Moving up the food chain

The Madison County Record Jun. 5, 2005, 4:16am

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier

Appellate Justice Clyde Kuehn

Bigger fish?

Department of Justice looks poised to deliver it to the voters of St. Clair County.

Sources tell Dicta they are proactively telling the FBI everything they know—and the FBI is happy to listen.

That covers more than vote buying and intimidation. After Election Day, were those in the crosshairs trying to scare away the problem? Did they make threatening phone calls? To people’s children?

We all know what they say about cover-ups.

“This is not the St. Clair County State's Attorney investigating. This is the U.S. Department of Justice,” said former St. Clair County Board Member Joe Behnken. ”I would be very surprised if the investigation stops at the street.”

The net of “$10 per vote” was an election victory for someone.


There’s that old adage about yawning being ‘contagious.’ So are asbestos trials, in Madison County at least.

Defense attorneys tell Dicta they plan to keep coming back for more.

"My client will not settle any more cases in Madison County unless
there is no doubt whatsoever we caused the illness and knew we caused it," said one lawyer whose manufacturer client is seemingly named in every 3rd Circuit Court asbestos lawsuit.

"The climate appears to be changing,” said another. “ If this case (against General Electric) is a defense verdict, you will see a trial (here) every week.”

We’ll be taking notes.

Speaking of…

Fortune magazine this week published an extensive report on the issue of asbestosis diagnosis fraud. It centers around that Dicta-reported (May 22) U.S. investigation out of New York.

They’re closely examining the work of “screening doctors” like West Virginia radiologist Ray Harron, who diagnosed some 52,600 asbestos claims.

The bankrupt Johns-Manville Corp., a regular Madison County asbestos defendant, says Harron is responsible for 10% of the claims it has paid.

And don’t forget

Judge Clyde Kuehn’s temporary term on the 5th District Appellate Court ends on July 7—less than a month from now. Expect State Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier to name his replacement sooner rather than later.

Kuehn, a Belleville native, was a short-term appointment to replace Appellate Court Judge Gordon Maag after suddenly found himself bounced from the court by voters last November.

This will be Karmeier’s first judicial appointment as a justice. We (hope) to report it here first.

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Illinois Supreme Court
200 E Capitol Ave
Springfield, IL 62701

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