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Hosey: Case of the Mondays for special prosecutor

Monday was a busy day for special prosecutor Bill Elward.

On Monday in Joliet, Elward had no less than three criminal cases to specially prosecute at the Will County Courthouse. You could almost call it an extra special day for Elward.

On the one hand, Elward had the case of Will County Deputy Ed Goewey, who stands accused of showing up at St. Mary’s in Mokena, where his children where his children were going to school at the time, yelling at school officials and threatening to personally remove a child believed to have made a threat to shoot students.

Threatening to personally remove a child from school sounds pretty bad, if it’s true. But at the same time, it’s just a threat. It’s not as if Goewey grabbed someone on the street and dragged him away for no other reason than he wouldn’t walk in the direction he told him to.

That actually happened when Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk got violently handsy with a 23-year-old named Victor Williams. Elward reviewed the police investigation of the mayor’s antics and decided he did “not condone O’Dekirk’s poor judgment in this matter.” At the same time, he chose not to charge him with anything either.

Elward was also tasked with the matter of Richard Gabrys, who was charged with repeatedly calling the office of Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and screaming obscenities at a receptionist.

Much like threatening to personally remove a student from school, screaming obscenities at a receptionist — if true — is completely unacceptable. Yet once again, it doesn’t seem nearly as terrible as an unprovoked attack on an unwitting pedestrian who likely has no idea you’re anyone as important as the mayor of Joliet. But that’s why Bill Elward gets paid the big bucks to take on special prosecutions involving special people like Deputy Goewey and State’s Attorney Glasgow, or to decline to special prosecute a special guy like Mayor O’Dekirk.

To round out his busy Monday, Elward had the case of former Joliet City Councilman Duck Dickinson on his schedule.

Don “Duck” Dickinson arrives to the Will County Courthouse with his lawyer Frank Andreano. The former Joliet councilman is charge with false accusation against the Joliet Mayor. Monday, April 11, 2022, in Joliet.

Dickinson faces a charge of attempting to obstruct justice. The criminal complaint says he “knowingly furnished false information” to the police about O’Dekirk by saying the mayor “threatened him.”

And Dickinson did accuse the mayor of threatening him, according to a police report he signed in November 2020.

“And you, Dickinson, the truth is going to come out about you,” O’Dekirk told him, according to the police report.

On top of that, the report said Dickinson was told O’Derkirk was “informing people that (he) claimed to have nude photos” of Dickinson.

Joliet Mayor Bob O'Dekirk

If there is anything to this, somebody needs to let us know how O’Dekirk got his hands on pictures of a naked Duck Dickinson in the first place. The report mentions a third person, Jennifer Jobe-Gavin, as an “other” in the case, but the front page doesn’t get into how she might be involved.

In any event, if Dickinson made all this up and lied to the police about it, then shame on him. But is it really any worse than manhandling some poor guy who was doing nothing more than walking along Jefferson Street?

Elward must think so. That’s just what makes him so special.

• Joe Hosey is the editor of The Herald-News. You can reach him at 815-280-4094, at jhosey@shawmedia.com or on Twitter @JoeHosey.

Joseph Hosey

Joseph Hosey

Joe Hosey became editor of The Herald-News in 2018. As a reporter, he covered the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and criminal investigation of her husband, former Bolingbrook police Sgt. Drew Peterson. He was the 2015 Illinois Journalist of the Year and 2014 National Press Club John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award winner.