St. Clair Squares
Making a Comeback
Let's Make a Deal
It's on the map because it's a retail mecca, not a bastion of political intrigue. Except, that is, for the three-way city clerk race between fellow Democrats John Driscoll, Sr., Joe Kassly and Pat Buske in Fairview Heights.
For 30 years, Driscoll counted beans as St. Clair County Auditor, then cleared the decks so that the wife of County Dem Chief Bob Sprague -- Patty -- could have something to do in her idle time. Now, he's mounting a political comeback.
While most eyes are peeled on Driscoll's challenge of Kassly--of Kassly Funeral Home local renown-- spoiler Buske is making it more interesting by splitting the ballot.
Kassly, the county party pick, wants the clerk's job because it pays more than his seat on the county board does. Word has it that Driscoll, a party outsider, also is in it for the $24,000 annual pay.
Driscoll Sr. is the papa of Brown & Crouppen protege John Driscoll Jr., who has filed umpteen Vioxx suits in Madison and St. Clair County. He's the young lawyer who successfully steered the current case against Merck on trial now in Madison County.
Arbitrators, not agitators
It was impossible not to stare at the fantastic reunion of former court chums, the retired Madison County Circuit Judge George Moran Jr. and former Lakin Law Firm uber-suer Gary Peel.
Neither left their fortress under the best of circumstances. Moran was accused of taking Spanish lessons on taxpayer time, and Peel met the pink slip by way of the FBI for allegedly committing bankruptcy fraud, possessing child pornography and obstructing justice.
That story is far from over. But there they were last week in Judge Byron's courtroom, answering the court's call for arbitrator-trainees. Moran and Peel were yucking it up before the three-hour training session got under way.
We're on watch for redemption.
Big time trouble calls for big time help.
Sources tell Dicta that embattled attorney Tom Lakin has hired a White House level big gun in defense of child sexual assault allegations.
President Bush's lawyer in the Valerie Plame CIA leak case, James E. Sharp, also has been retained by Lakin.
Sharp's other high profile client was Maj. Gen. Richard V. Secord, a major figure in the Iran-Contra saga and ally of Lt. Col. Oliver North.