Madison - St. Clair Record

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Special prosecutors for everyone!

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By The Madison County Record | Apr 18, 2018

For the new craze of impugning the integrity of senior law enforcement officials and requesting the appointment of special prosecutors, we can thank, among others, fired former FBI Director James Comey.

By his own admission, Comey leaked confidential FBI information with the express desire of prompting the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the “Russian collusion” bogeyman.

Taking his cue from Comey, possibly, an Edwardsville man accused of assaulting Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler at a charity event last year has now moved to disqualify State's Attorney Thomas Gibbons, arguing that Gibbons' relationship with Prenzler “mitigates in favor of the appointment of a special prosecutor.”

Presumably, Matthew J. Foley, the man accused of the assault, meant to say “militates” instead of “mitigates,” but semantics may not have been his best subject in school.

He may not have mastered logic either, as his motion to disqualify Gibbons argues that “the circumstances are such that the State's Attorney's Office is perceived to be biased in some form or fashion either for or against [emphasis ours] the complaining witness.”

Suggesting that Gibbons may be biased one way or the other is simply nonsensical.

It would be logical for Foley to object to Gibbons if he thinks Gibbons is biased against him, but not if he thinks Gibbons is biased in his favor. That would be a matter of concern for Prenzler, as indeed it is.

Late last year, offices in Prenzler's administration were raided by a special investigative task force comprised of members of state and local law enforcement agencies, with Gibbons' office announcing in a subsequent press release that it had received evidence of possible illegal conduct by unnamed county officials.

Noting that Gibbons has “refused to discuss the search warrant or the grand jury subpoena or provide any representation, advice, or counsel,” Prenzler and others fear he may have a conflict of interest in that matter and quite logically have asked for a special prosecutor to be appointed.

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