Among 46 candidates for associate judge of the Third Circuit, Jack Daugherty stands out as having a bent against corporations.
“Big business has never wanted a fair shake or a level playing field,” Daugherty posted on the Disqus web log earlier this year.
“It is the business of business to gain unfair advantage wherever possible."
He and fellow Democrat Stephen Jellen, calling themselves the Madison League of Madison County, laud the local court for giving regular folks a level field.
Daugherty, who formerly worked for the asbestos firm of John Simmons, ardently defends the county’s reputation as America’s asbestos court.
“I do not deny that I am very biased for people with mesothelioma,” he wrote.
“The facts that establish liability against some of these businesses are so outrageous that it seems amazing that no one has been charged with murder.”
He has characterized people at Chrysler and Honeywell as ghouls.
He points his rhetoric at business, but he aims his actions at Republicans.
He currently represents a woman who lost her job after the Republican assessor of Monroe County caught her copying a document he had planted.
Her federal suit for reinstatement excuses her behavior but criticizes the assessor, Carl Wuertz, for having personal papers on his desk.
In 2013, Daugherty and Jellen filed an objection to petitions bearing 23,000 signatures that Republicans had gathered against a tax increase.
Daugherty represented Jellen at a hearing before the county electoral board, but the hearing ended as soon as it started.
State’s attorney Tom Gibbons declared a conflict of interest for himself and his office, and county clerk Deborah Ming-Mendoza postponed the proceedings.
Jellen and Daugherty dismissed the petition a day later, and voters rejected the tax increase by four to one.
Last year, Jellen and Daugherty asked the county board to oversee investments of Republican treasurer Kurt Prenzler.
The board didn’t act but board chairman Alan Dunstan did, hiring PFM Asset Management of Philadelphia as investment advisor.
For the modest sum of $28,500, Dunstan bought a wide range of deep research.
The contract calls for recommendations regarding policies, procedures, compliance with state law, forecasting of cash flow and liquidity, opportunity costs of strategies, performance measurement, and “portfolio optimization techniques.”
The contract includes training for county staff, presumably in Prenzler’s office.
Dunstan did not respond to a call about PFM’s progress.
Also last year, Daugherty submitted to Prenzler a series of information requests.
He asked for email and voice mail between any employee and Republicans Don Weber, Rodger Cook, Chris Slusser, Rod Spear, Ken Brosch and Steve Adler.
He also asked for any document relating to any investigation conducted by staff, all cellular telephone records of Prenzler and deputy treasurer Doug Hulme for the last 365 days, vacation and sick time requests of any employee in the last 365 days, time sheets and payroll records back to the first of the year.
He further asked for all communications regarding Charles Suarez, treasurer of St. Clair County and brother of Madison County treasurer candidate Marleen Suarez.
He asked for all text messages, tweets and Facebook posts among Prenzler, Hulme, and two other employees.
He asked for all communications among any staff regarding attendance at rallies, parades, fund raisers, or other political activities.
Prenzler delivered it all.
In the Monroe County case, Alton lawyers Lee Barron and William Buchanan filed suit for Kristin Egbert of Waterloo in U.S. district court last October.
They alleged that assessor Wuertz placed a camera in his office and left a script of a speech on a desk in a scheme to terminate Egbert.
They claimed damage in excess of $75,000, the minimum for federal jurisdiction.
Wuertz answered that Egbert’s conduct was improper and her termination was a legitimate act in good faith.
Barron and Buchanan amended the complaint in May.
“It was the policy of the Monroe County assessor’s office while Wuertz was assessor that employees of the office be registered as Republicans.”
They wrote that Egbert chose not to be affiliated with any party.
On June 15, Daugherty entered his appearance for Egbert.
District Judge Staci Yandle has set a settlement conference for Aug. 31.
Daugherty and 45 other lawyers in Madison and Bond counties applied for five openings as associate judges after circuit judges denied retention to five.