Newly elected Rock Island County State's Attorney John McGehee wasted little time getting to work after he was sworn into office on Monday.
Mr. McGehee, 51, of Moline, was sworn in by Chief Judge Jeff O'Connor shortly after 8 a.m. in Rock Island County Circuit Court. Norma Kauzlarich was then inducted as first assistant state's attorney, along with assistant state's attorneys.
By Monday afternoon Mr. McGehee had familiarized himself with the various civil and criminal departments in Rock Island County and, in the coming days, plans to introduce himself to area law enforcement in order to discuss plans for the future of his office.
"I'm going to be a very busy state's attorney," Mr. McGehee said with a laugh. He was elected Nov. 6 in a race with Republican candidate and Rock Island County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Wozniak, 33, of East Moline.
He replaced Mark Senko, who served as interim state's attorney since June 2011, following the resignation of Jeff Terronez, who pleaded guilty in April of that year to delivering alcohol to a minor.
Mr. McGehee said on Monday he was honored to be chosen and said he hopes to "restore the integrity" of the State's Attorney's Office.
"I made a pledge that ethical misconduct and personal failures will no longer overshadow or interfere with the work that this office has to do," Mr. McGehee said, adding that he will "make the tough calls" to best benefit the citizens of Rock Island County.
As part of his commitment, Mr. McGehee said he intends to be "hands-on" with the events in his office, including reviewing all felony plea agreements.
"My goal is to be involved with the preliminary hearings first, followed by knowing every single felony criminal case that is filed in Rock Island County so that there is consistency," he said.
Additionally, the new state's attorney said he will be a strong presence in the local community, including working with leaders of area corporations, organizations and schools.
Today is Wednesday, Aug. 20, the 232nd day of 2014. There are 133 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Quite a number of Negroes have lately been brought here by abolition offers returning from the army in violation of the laws of the state. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Miss Tillie Denkmann, of Rock Island, was making plans to accompany a Davenport family on a tour of Europe. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The German advance into Belgium was going apparently without serious check. The American ambassador at Berlin published a denial of the charge that Americans had been ill-treated in Germany. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Seventy-two members of Rock Island High School's 1939 graduating class are preparing to enter college — 34 of them at Augustana. 1964 -- 50 years ago: One of the oldest buildings in Milan, which for a number of years has housed the Milan Hotel, will be razed to make way for a modern, two-story office structure. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Some are blaming it on the sudden influx of insects and the extreme humidity. Still others say the invasion was inspired by a recent movie. But whatever the reason, the Quad-Cities is swarming with bats.