A special prosecutor has been appointed to determine whether charges should be filed against Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello, two former assistant prosecutors and a former part-time public defender in what apparently is part of an investigation of cocaine use in Springfield.
Aiello, former assistant state's attorneys John "Jake" Kelley and Dan Mills and former public defender John A. Maurer were named in a document filed with the circuit clerk's office Tuesday afternoon.
The Sangamon County state's attorney's office asked for the special prosecutor Tuesday after the U.S. attorney's office delivered reports on the investigation to the county. Federal authorities have indicted eight alleged cocaine dealers in the case since October.
Sangamon Co. State's Attorney John Schmidt requested a special prosecutor because he had worked closely with all four men. Kelley, Mills and Maurer resigned their jobs a short time before they were subpoenaed by federal investigators. Schmidt asked Kelley and Mills to resign after he had "received information inconsistent with their continued employment as assistant state's attorneys" and that the information concerned "personal conduct not related to their job" according to the State Journal-Register. The special prosecutor will also investigate two other men linked to the investigation, including a former federal probation officer, Kevin Kelly, and a former bank loan officer, Blair Fein.
When I worked for the House Republican Staff in Springfield, Illinois from 1984 to 1990, I observed a fair amount of influential people, including legislators and lobbyists, who used cocaine. While attending to my duties as a the Minority Leader's floor manager, I once suggested that a legislator go to the men's bathroom to clear away the round, white powder substance visible on his nose hairs. He thanked me without explanation. I'm sure it was just one of those white powder doughnuts that are so messy to eat. He's now a member of Congress.