To the Editor:
For three years it has been my privilege to serve as the People’s elected circuit judge. On January 9, 2020, the Illinois Court Commission entered an order removing me. I was fired. However, I cannot in good conscience accept their decision as just for either myself or the People of this circuit. Throughout all proceedings I have been scrupulously honest. How, then, did we come to this juncture? As I am no longer prevented by the Illinois Judicial Canons from publicly speaking, I shall now “speak” in this letter, and soon in future writings.
Simply, the board prosecutor did not want the Commission to have all the evidence in my case before it made its decision. He asked the Chairperson to limit the evidence. His request was granted. Thus, the Commission members made their decision absent hearing all the evidence related to the charges against me. Had all the evidence been provided to the Commission, as well as the entire political background giving rise to the original complaint, their decision would very likely have been different. Unfortunately, we shall never know, because Illinois judges are retained or removed from their judicial office after one hearing. The Illinois judicial rules provide no appeal for judges.
By running for election as St. Clair County State’s Attorney, I am answering my critics as loudly and as clearly as is possible. The unethical government actions taken against me– intimidation, harassment, defamation and political prosecution– should never have taken place. Keep in mind that these malignant government actions were engaged in against me by four separate government entities: 1) the Belleville police; 2) the St. Clair County State’s Attorney; 3) the Illinois Appellate Prosecutors; and 4) the Office of Chief Judge of the Twentieth Judicial Circuit.
I am lucky to share Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday. I recall his famous statement, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Dwell on the enormous meaning of King’s statement. All people in the Twentieth Judicial Circuit– indeed, all people everywhere– must be aware that when an injustice is done to any one person, every other person is vulnerable to the same injustice.
For over twenty-five years as a lawyer, I fought for fair and just treatment for all my clients. As an elected circuit judge, I hoped to continue to bring fairness, justice and equity to the People. Instead, from before I took the bench, I found myself targeted by my political foes– including multiple government officials– for intimidation, for harassment, for defamation, for political prosecution, and even for removal as an elected circuit judge.
The People deserve to know the story of how and why I was charged with judicial misconduct, as well as with “fake” crimes– truly, the People must know this entire story, wherever it may lead. It will unfold in detail during my campaign.
If I am elected as your St. Clair County State’s Attorney, I will continue to fight for fair, just and equitable prosecution– for all the People. Politics will play no role, which is fair and just.
Ronald R. Duebbert