Local Editorials

Our view: Bad deal in case

THUMBS DOWN

To the plea deal prosecutors and McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather accepted that kept a 75-year-old Crystal Lake man from being required to register as a sex offender. John W. Giesing admitted offering a 16-year-old boy selling newspaper subscriptions $20 to perform a sexual act. If this incident isn’t a textbook case for the purpose of sex offender registration laws, we’re struggling to figure out what would be.

THUMBS UP

To Woodstock’s Lou Ness. The 65-year-old executive director of Shelter Care in Rockford set out on April 1 to walk from McHenry County to the U.S. Capitol in Washington. She’s doing it for a cause – changing the conversation around poverty in the U.S. – and she only has a couple of days at most before she completes her 900-plus mile journey. We hope she grabs the attention of a few lawmakers once she reaches her destination.

THUMBS DOWN

To another elected official in Illinois being convicted of a crime. This time, Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith was convicted of bribery and attempted extortion for taking $7,000 from a purported day care operator seeking a state grant. In a weeklong trial, prosecutors played secret recordings of the 50-year-old Smith, a Chicago Democrat, accepting 70 $100 bills – which he referred to as “cheddar” on tape – in exchange for a letter supporting a $50,000 state grant. The day care turned out to be fictitious and part of an FBI sting. Smith lost his 2014 primary battle in March but was supposed to finish out his term. Instead, Smith will lose his seat once the verdicts are formally entered.

THUMBS UP

To the organizers of the Sean Toedman Memorial 3-on-3 basketball tournament for renaming it the Jamie Wise and Sean Toedman Memorial 3-on-3 tournament for Wise, a Marengo graduate and former tournament volunteer, who died on April 5. The tournament, which takes place on June 22 at Lions Park in East Dundee, will raise funds for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

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