Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons wants the process of choosing law firms to represent the county in an opioid lawsuit to be transparent and cooperative, and he's determined to make sure that any funds secured through litigation will be used exclusively for remediation of the consequences of the epidemic.
How do we know this? Because Tom Gibbons said so.
He also said that he has sole authority to determine whether or not the county files such a suit, which firms will represent the county and on what terms, and how any settlement funds will be disbursed. Not to worry, though, because he's promised that his unilateral decisions will be made transparently, cooperatively, and in the public interest.
We know we can trust Tom Gibbons because he says we can. After all, he works for us.
“I am elected by the general public, so I work for 267,000 people,” Gibbons said at a meeting of the Madison County Judiciary Committee last week. “That’s how many bosses I have.”
Gibbons affirmed to members of the committee that it would be “morally offensive” to use money obtained from an opioid lawsuit for purposes other than addressing the aftermath of the epidemic.
You know you can take that to the bank, because Gibbons, you'll recall, is the guy who not so long ago tried to set up his own personal police force, modeled on La Salle County State's Attorney Brian Towne's SAFE team, to catch drug traffickers on the interstate and use their confiscated assets as he himself saw fit – albeit transparently, cooperatively, and in the public interest.
Gibbons' openness to public input on the proposed litigation was reflected in his response to the Illinois Civil Justice League's expressed concern about the use of contingency fee arrangements with outside counsel in such an undertaking. He dismissed it as a “propaganda campaign” and a “blatant effort to tip the scales of justice against the citizens of Madison County.”
There you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.