They are working hard trying to develop several stories, when this falls into thier laps (or more like into their "Fax Received" tray):
St. Clair County Sheriff's Department (IL) records clerk Joann Reed wanted a speeding ticket for the son of a deputy dismissed, but she didn't go to a judge or jury in traffic court.
Instead, Reed faxed a copy of the Centreville Police Department's ticket from the Sheriff's Department's fax machine to Centreville village attorney Carmen Durso, with a handwritten message: "Dismiss this case."
The problem is, she didn't fax the ticket to Durso. Reed accidentally faxed it to the Belleville News-Democrat's newsroom.
"Guilty. Period," Reed said after a reporter questioned her about the errant fax.
The three-page message, signed by Reed, included a notice to appear because the 18-year-old alleged traffic violator failed to show up for court. The new court date is set for today.
"The guy is the son of one of our deputies," was handwritten on the notice to appear.
Reed, who unsuccessfully ran for Alorton mayor in 2009, told a reporter that statement wasn't true. She was doing it to help out a college student. She only wrote that to make sure the ticket was dismissed, she said.
Though one number of the address on the ticket was omitted and the last name wasn't the same as the deputy, reporters discovered the ticket was issued to the son of Cerether White, a St. Clair County sheriff's deputy.
The Centreville officer who wrote the ticket on Aug. 18 stated the 18-year-old motorist, Jonathon Yates, was driving 43 in a 20 mph zone, a ticket that carries a $175 fine.
Durso prosecutes municipal tickets in Centreville, but said he can't dismiss violations of state law -- such as speeding tickets...
When researching this story, I saw that some theorized that the clerk may have faxed the information to the newspaper on purpose--acting as a covert whistle-blower.
I say: "No way."
When acting as a whistle-blower and providing a news outlet with potential evidence on a criminal or unsavory practice, the last thing the individual wants to do is cast a negative light on themselves.
In this case, Ms. Reed will likely lose her job, and raised the anger of every citizen in Illinois who has received a traffic citation in the last decade.
Certainly not the outcome that someone simply looking to report an unfair practice would desire.
Anyway, I am unsure who is more embarrassed here, the clerk involved or her boss--Sheriff Mearl Justus, who launched an investigation into the incident.
Have a good weekend everyone.