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 Tuesday, Sept. 16, the 259th day of 2014. There are 106 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: A fine lumber mill is on the course of erection at Andalusia. A flouring mill at that location is doing a fine business. 1889 — 125 years ago: J.B. Lidders, past captain of Beardsley Camp, Sons of Veterans, returned from Paterson, N.Y., where he attended the National Sons of Veterans encampments. 1914 — 100 years ago: President Wilson announced that he had received from the imperial chancellor of Germany a noncommittal reply to his inquiry into a report that the emperor was willing to discuss terms of peace. 1939 — 75 years ago: Delegates at the Illinois Conference of the Methodist Church in Springfield voted to raise the minimum pay of ministers so that every pastor would get at least $1,000 annually. 1964 — 50 years ago: An audience of more than 2,600 persons jammed into the Davenport RKO Orpheum theater with a shoe horn feasted on a Miller-Diller evening that was a killer night. Phyllis Diller sent the audience with her offbeat humor. And send them she did! It was Miss Diller's third appearance in the Quad-Cities area. 1989 — 25 years ago: A few years ago, a vacant lot on 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Rock Island was a community nuisance. Weeds grew as high 18 inches. Today, the lot has a new face, thanks to Michael and Sheila Rind and other neighbors who helped them turn it into a park three weeks ago.