Too many Goliaths...

by The Madison County Record |
Jul. 31, 2005, 2:00pm

Sgt. Ray Botterbush

Aim higher?

St. Louis plaintiff’s attorney Stephen Tillery’s Madison County lawsuit against South African diamond maker DeBeers uses as its rationale a claim that the company is a “cartel.”

DeBeers “likes to think of itself as the world’s longest running monopoly,” said Tillery’s complaint, full of anecdotal tidbits about the firm and reminiscent of a high school term paper.

Seeing that Tillery has the ambition to take on DeBeers, we wondered why he hadn’t yet gotten the idea to take on a considerably greater source of consternation-- the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries or OPEC?

If you’re going to use Madison County’s court to sue the world’s great cartels, why not start with the most infamous? With gas prices soaring, surely any summertime jury would prove OPEC’s worst enemy.

We did some checking and found the answer. As per the Sherman Antitrust Act, private lawsuits are not allowed against OPEC—yet.

In late June, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would modify the Act and allow guys like Tillery to take on OPEC in our courts. Maybe the Saudis will get to see Edwardsville sooner than we think.

Paying pariahs

The county building that Philip Morris built, Madison County’s brand new Criminal Justice Center, has hoisted another disrespect upon the generous cigarette-buying community.

Chief Judge Edward Ferguson has ordered smokers—already banished outdoors-- to stand twenty-five feet away from the building when they light up. His rationale, as per a sign posted at the CJC last week, is that smoke is filtering into building’s vestibule.

Madison County has received some $4.8 million in interest on a bond Philip Morris was forced to post while Judge Nicholas Byron’s verdict in the Price case remains on appeal before the Illinois Supreme Court.


You may know Madison County Sheriff Deputies Bill Brave and Ray Botterbush, for manning the Edwardsville Courthouse entrance, where they assure that the only bad guys who get in are going on trial.

Last week both men were promoted.

Now Sgt. Botterbush, the Godfrey resident has been with the force for 31 years. And newly-minted Lt. Brave of Bethalto has been with the force 29 years. He grew up in Wood River.

Congrats, guys, and thanks for your public service.

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