Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow claims Joliet inspector general position unconstitutional

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow holds a news conference on Wednesday for the announcement of Jordan Henry’s 22-year prison sentence after Henry was convicted of aggravated vehicular hijacking, armed robbery, fleeing and other offenses.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has no plans to submit to any interview or subpoena of the Joliet inspector general as he believes the ordinance for that position is unconstitutional, according to a court filing.

Glasgow’s prosecutors on Monday petitioned to intervene in Joliet Inspector General Sean Connolly’s lawsuit against Illinois State Police for investigation records.

Connolly’s lawsuit is seeking those records for his own investigation, in which he’s already filed a report, looking into allegations surrounding former Joliet councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson, Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, retired Joliet Police Chief Al Roechner and others.

Connolly had sent Glasgow a letter on March 23 asking if the county’s top prosecutor would agree to be interviewed as part of the inspector general’s review of the matter.

The petition filed on Monday said Glasgow “does not intend to comply with any request to be interviewed by the Inspector General, which is based on a clearly unconstitutional ordinance.”

“The state’s attorney believes that the inspector general ordinance is patently unconstitutional and that even if properly constituted, an inspector general has no authority to issue or enforce subpoenas outside its respective unit of local government,” the petition said.

Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, back left, and Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow attend a rally for ZONTA Says No To Violence Against Women outside the old court house on Tuesday in Joliet.

Connolly did not immediately respond to a message and call Monday about the petition.

If a Will County judge allows Glasgow to intervene in Connolly’s case, he plans to file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The basis of that motion is Glasgow’s contention that Joliet’s inspector general ordinance is unconstitutional.

Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Pyles argued in a memorandum that the city’s ordinance allows the mayor to appoint and remove an inspector general, who in turn reports to the mayor.

“That runs counter to the Illinois Municipal Code insofar as the city manager is the appointing and removal authority and that the city manager is responsible for the enforcement of ordinances,” Pyles’ memorandum said.

Pyles further argued that the mayor in the inspector general ordinance is tasked not only with the appointment of the inspector general but also “with the enforcement of the ordinances by virtue of the inspector general reporting to the mayor.”

“In both instances, under the council-manager form of government, those tasks are given to the city manager,” Pyles said.

Pyles also argued there is no legal entity named “inspector general” and Joliet’s ordinance does not provide that an inspector general “may sue or be sued.”

Glasgow’s spokeswoman Carole Cheney did not respond to questions about what his involvement may be in the Dickinson matter.

An examination of Dickinson’s phone apparently showed text messages between Dickinson and Jim Glasgow and a phone call log, according to Illinois State Police reports. In Connolly’s March 25 update to Joliet City Council, he said he had intended to interview Glasgow.

On Dec. 29, 2020, Glasgow had motioned for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Dickinson case and then asked for the motion to be sealed, court records show. The motion was unsealed last January following the conclusion of Dickinson’s case, where a charge accusing him of filing a false police report against O’Dekirk was dismissed.

There was no specific reason in the motion for why Glasgow chose to distance himself from the case. The motion cited a state law that said a state’s attorney may “file a petition to recuse himself or herself from a cause or proceeding for any other reason he or she deems appropriate.”

Inspector General Sean Connolly leaves the podium after speaking on conspiracy allegations against Joliet Mayor Bob O’DeKirk during the City Council Meeting at City Hall in Joliet on Monday, March 13th, 2023.