Circuit clerk says cameras to be installed where money flows

Ann Knef Dec. 3, 2008, 5:35am


St. Clair County Circuit Clerk Brendan Kelly says the security of public funds is a top priority in his new administration.

Kelly, who was sworn into office Monday after being elected to a four-year term last month, said he wants to install video cameras in areas of his office where money flows.

"Banks have them. Casinos have them. 7-11 has them," Kelly said in an interview. "We should expect no less when it comes to public funds."

The office manages nearly $4 million in court fees and fines and keeps records of all court filings.

He said he also would be looking at the "whole process" of how money is handled and will implement a "series of changes."

"The public needs to be reassured their money is as secure and invulnerable as possible," he said.

Other changes coming to the office, which had been occupied by former Circuit Clerk Barney Metz for 28 years, include enhancing its portion of the county Web site.

For instance, Kelly said, information about how to pay traffic tickets will be posted online. He said he's also pushing for online payment of traffic tickets with an application pending before the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts (AOIC).

Automated disposition reporting to AOIC, which receives court information and forwards it to an appropriate state agency, will also be overhauled to ensure accurate reporting of court proceedings.

The circuit clerk's office had come under fire last year when it was discovered that traffic ticket information never made it to the state between April, 2004, and March, 2007.

Kelly said the current method of single step reporting to AOIC will be replaced with a multiple step process that ensures correct information is sent to the AOIC and correct information is received at state agencies.

Digitized court records is also in the offing. Kelly said he will be reviewing various systems to make court data available online.

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