Sycamore Democrat seeks DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office in 2024 election

Charles “Chuck” Rose to run as Democrat for DeKalb County state’s attorney, cites background as cop as strength

Charles “Chuck” Rose, a Sycamore lawyer who’s office specializes in representing people with disabilities has thrown his hat into the ring as a Democrat for DeKalb County State’s Attorney in the 2024 election.

SYCAMORE – A Sycamore lawyer and former cop whose law office specializes in representing people with disabilities has thrown his hat into the ring as a Democrat for DeKalb County state’s attorney in the 2024 election.

Charles “Chuck” Rose of Sycamore has a law office on 1958 Aberdeen Court, Sycamore that opened in 2004. He also has a background as a law enforcement officer in the county that he said brings with him a combined 32 years of experience in criminal and governmental law, according to a news release from his campaign. Rose has lived in DeKalb County since 1979. His private private is dedicated to estate planning and represents children and adults with disabilities, according to its website.

Rose previously worked as deputy sheriff for the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, a part-time police officer in the Village of Waterman and for one year with the Genoa Police Department on the North Central Narcotics Task Force. He also has worked as first assistant state’s attorney and ran for state’s attorney in Jo Daviess County in the early 2000s, he said.

“My extensive experience as a prosecutor taught me that victims of crime deserve respect from the criminal justice system and they deserve their day in court, in other words to be heard. If elected, I plan to continue that approach in every case,” Rose said in the release. “As a result of my extensive experience in law enforcement and as a prosecutor I learned that law enforcement and the State’s Attorney’s Office are equal partners in investigating and prosecuting criminal offenses.”

Although candidate petitions haven’t yet been filed officially, the 2024 state’s attorney’s race likely will be contested.

Republican Riley Oncken, also a Sycamore-based lawyer, announced in September his plans to seek the office. Outgoing State’s Attorney Rick Amato, also a Republican, announced earlier this fall he won’t seek a third term.

The candidate filing period doesn’t open until Nov. 27, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. However, petitions to collect voter signatures began circulating Sept. 5.

While serving as a police officer with the sheriff’s office from 1981 to 1985, Rose said he often frequented the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore to testify as a witness in cases. He said he worked with now retired judge Bill Brady, who at the time served as a prosecutor in the state’s attorney’s office.

“We did cases together obviously and I would testify, and I would always kid him that I could do a better job,” Rose said in an interview Wednesday. “Over the years he encouraged me to go to law school and become a prosecutor. It seemed like a natural thing because I did enjoy my time.”

Rose said if elected, he plans to bring with him attorneys who have experience in both criminal prosecution and defending government agencies, since DeKalb County government also is represented by the state’s attorney’s office.

It’s been a month and a half since cashless bail went into effect in Illinois, bringing with it significant changes to the way pretrial hearings are conducted. In DeKalb County, pretrial hearings now focus on whether judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys can determine a person’s eligibility for release based on a set of new criteria outlined under the controversial SAFE-T Act.

Rose said, if elected, he’ll continue to uphold the law.

“Currently cashless bail is in the law in Illinois,” Rose said. “And as you know, the state’s attorney swears an oath to follow the law. So I will do exactly that: follow the law and work with the system, with the judges and probation department to follow that law,. From what I’ve heard, I would say it’s [cashless bail] working in DeKalb County. But like any new law, it will probably be fine tuned. And I will be a part of it in any way I can, of fine tuning that so it works better for DeKalb County.”

Rose earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado and his law degree from Northern Illinois University, according to the news release. He taught criminal justice classes at Kishwaukee College for more than 20 years and also serves on the college’s criminal justice advisory board.

In other arenas, Rose has served on the boards for RAMP, Youth Services Bureau, The Gracie Center, Elder Care Services, the DeKalb County Mental Health Board, and the Estate Planning Advisory Committee for the DeKalb County Community Foundation, according to the release.

He’s also volunteered backstage for the Penguin Project, a local theater group that empowers children and adolescents with special needs.

Rose has volunteered for Prairie State Legal Services, CASA DeKalb County and the legal clinic at Hope Haven homeless shelter in DeKalb, according to the release.

He’s also on the DeKalb County Regional Board of Education’s Board of School Trustees.

“Giving back to the community has always been important to me,” Rose said in the release. “Experience matters. That is why I am running for DeKalb County State’s Attorney.”

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