Local Editorials

Our View: John Jacobson must leave office

When this Editorial Board last checked in on Hebron Village President John Jacobson, he was shaking down a homeless veterans’ shelter to benefit a town tavern.

Jacobson, who was elected village president in 2013, was willing to hold hostage a shelter grant that was completely unrelated to an ongoing dispute over a water main.

Believe it or not, that pales in comparison to Jacobson’s brushes with the law, including his most recent episode.

On Tuesday, Jacobson was arrested on drug and firearms charges after police found cocaine, drug paraphernalia and a shotgun and ammunition in his home after a March 17 incident in which 911 was called after he was not breathing and beginning to turn blue. The two most serious charges Jacobson faces – unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of a firearm without a requisite firearms owner identification card – are felonies. Jacobson’s other incidents are well-documented:

• In July 2014, Jacobson entered a plea of no contest to an amended charge of reckless driving to resolve a drunken driving case in Wisconsin.

• The drunken driving charge came while he was on probation in McHenry County after pleading down a felony crack cocaine possession charge to a misdemeanor in 2013. The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office decided not to pursue an additional sentence for violating his probation.

• The crack cocaine charge came in 2013 during Jacobson’s village president campaign. He was pulled over with what police said was about 3 grams of crack cocaine in his car. While the charges were still unresolved, Jacobson won election with 61 percent of the village’s vote.

Jacobson is a man who should not be in office. Unfortunately, Hebron voters elected him despite pending crack cocaine charges. Regardless, Jacobson must go.

The right thing for him to do is to resign. If he refuses to resign, no plea deal the state’s attorney’s office entertains should be accepted without an agreement that Jacobson resigns. Otherwise, the state’s attorney’s office should vigorously work to convict on the felony charges.

A felony conviction would boot Jacobson from office.

If all else fails, voters in Hebron will have the opportunity to elect a new village president next year. Here’s hoping somebody responsible in Hebron steps up and fills the leadership void their village clearly lacks.

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