Will County state's attorney race heats up

September 20, 2012 10:00:00 PM PDT
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow has won some very high-profile court cases recently. But his Republican challenger in the November election still thinks it's time for a change in that office.

Now that the big trials have ended, let the campaign begin for Will County state's attorney.

On Thursday, a jury convicted family killer Christopher Vaughn, and two weeks earlier wife murderer Drew Peterson in a case Glasgow tried himself.

"Everybody criticized me at every stage of that case. Yet, everything I do or did was groundbreaking and innovative, and it was for the public good," said Glasgow.

But Dave Carlson, the Republican candidate for Glasgow's job, says the incumbent manipulated both trials for political purposes.

"The timing of this. These cases had been pending for years and they come forward within a month or two of the election," Carlson said.

"The fact that he would say that I timed it, that's a lie. He knows how the court systems work. This is something I had no control over," Glasgow said.

It's Democrat Glasgow's second run as state's attorney. He was elected twice in the 1990s and again in 2004 and 2008. Chicago-born Carlson, an attorney whose practice includes criminal defense, was hired as an assistant to Jeff Tomczak, the Republican who led the office between 2000 and 2004.

"He never even made it to a second chair in a felony courtroom. And when he left my employ, he was in the juvenile division," Glasgow said.

"In Will County, the biggest problem we're having right now is there's kind of a friends-and-family plan," Carlson said.

Carlson says Glasgow gives county legal business to political buddies, including Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti, who donated cash to Glasgow's campaign fund.

"These are modest contributions that he's given me. They're in no way tied to the business that he does," Glasgow said.

"I don't believe that any person who is a vendor to the county should contribute to an elected official," Carlson said.

Carlson says during Glasgow's recent terms, a deadly heroin epidemic has swept Will County.

"Heroin deaths have gone up probably five, 600 percent and he hasn't prosecuted anybody for this," said Carlson.

"What's he talking about? He defends the drug dealers," Glasgow said. "I prosecute them."

Glasgow admits that had he lost the Peterson case, this campaign would have had a different dynamic to it.


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