Didn't get a Chrysler


Secret identity?

Bailiff Charles “Rod” Taylor guards the second floor of the Madison County Courthouse with a wink and a smile. He’s a friendly and familiar face.

Former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor is under indictment for war crimes against humanity. He continues to foment chaos and instability in the West African nation he once ruled.

That the two have a name in common drove Taylor the bailiff to the Madison County Clerk’s office last week gathering documents to prove who he wasn’t.

The mix-up came after our Charles tried to buy a new Chrysler at Dave Croft in Collinsville. A credit run indicated that “Charles Taylor” was the former president of Liberia and that his assets were frozen.

News to him.

We suppose Mr. Croft could have also noted that the Charles in his store wasn’t carrying a machete or wearing a holster with a sidearm. But that’s water under the bridge now.

Charles got his credit and got his car. Meanwhile, the other Charles remains in exile in Nigeria.

No smoke, no fire

Call it wishful thinking?

A wildfire Madison County rumor that the Illinois Supreme Court would deliver an opinion last week in favor of lawyer Stephen Tillery and the plaintiffs in the captivating $10.1 billion Philip Morris case was quickly extinguished by Joe Tybor, spokesman for the Court.

Contrary to the buzz up and down Main Street, Tybor said no opinions were scheduled to be announced last Friday, as it went.

Still— as faithful readers of titles like Star and InTouch magazines we take rumors seriously.

Their reporting on Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston’s marital troubles and eventual divorce was tagged just rampant rumor before being proven correct. Apparently someone ‘in the know’ was talking all the while.

This begs the question— has someone close to the Illinois Supreme Court opened their mouth about the Philip Morris case? We have our ears to the ground.

For future reference, the Court hears cases every other month. At the beginning of each ‘monthly term,’ it announces upon which specific days it will issue opinions.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s next term begins May 9.

Sticker shock

Why is it so hard for Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier to find a Republican appointee to the appellate court? Apparently there are millions of reasons.

A source intimately familiar with appellate court races told Dicta that accepting an appointment to the bench in July when Clyde Kuehn's appointment expires is akin to accepting a debt load of millions.

For certain, the race for 5th Appellate Court in November 2006 will follow in the new tradition of cost and contention, which is a non-starter for the lot who are qualified.

Is our local judiciary heading the way of the U.S. Senate, where only the rich need apply? In a practical sense, it's looking that way.


Or could it be apnea? Pure boredom?

Whatever the cause, The Record management tells Dicta they "are investigating" why courts reporter Steve Gonzalez briefly dozed off during Brad Lakin's closing argument in the Jablonski-Ford case.

According to Room 351 sources, Gonzalez slumped and inadvertently bumped Brad's dad sitting beside him, Lakin Law Firm founder Tom Lakin.

Lakin chose not to sit next to Gonzalez after recess.

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