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, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.