Too slow going

The Madison County Record Dec. 24, 2006, 7:20am

It's encouraging to see the wheels of justice turn just a hint in the sordid, shocking case of Metro East super-plaintiff's lawyer Thomas Lakin.

But forgive us for--- by this point, at least-- expecting a bit more from society's sworn protectors.

Last week, the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) proved the very first of the lot to make a move, filing a complaint against Lakin that portends to prevent him from doing his job. The ARDC alleged sexual assault and exploitation charges similar to those made public in a civil lawsuit filed back in May. You've read them all before, so disturbing they don't bear repeating.

The ARDC charged Lakin's behavior was such that "(would) defeat the administration of justice or... brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute."

No kidding.

What took the ARDC so long-- it's been six full months-- is perhaps a symptom of lawyers' chronic disinclination to criticize their most filthy rich brethren. For instance, even this state body charged with regulating lawyers cannot be bothered to investigate the rampant barratry plaguing its ranks, seeing as the most serial offenders (Lakin) are too powerful and connected.

But bemoaning as much would be missing the point. So Tom Lakin cannot file class action lawsuits anymore-- big deal. He can still roam freely throughout the Metro-East this holiday season; he can still co-exist with our vulnerable children.

Given the serious accusation that he gave drugs to minor children and engaged in pedophilia, are we crazy to ask why this man is still walking our streets? Where are the state and federal prosecutors? What could possibly explain their inaction?

These are not casual charges. If but a single one is correct, Lakin is a dangerous sexual predator, a threat to minors whererver he lurks.

On the flipside, of course, if the charges are false and insidiously-motivated, Lakin should be publicly cleared as quickly as possible.

Whatever. However. Isn't it about time we got on with it?

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