Originally Posted Online: June 02, 2011, 10:52 am
Last Updated: June 03, 2011, 12:31 pm
Sangamon County charges considered against Jacobs; no Senate action planned
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By Brandy Donaldson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: File photo |
The police report on an alleged incident between state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, above, and Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Decatur, is being forwarded to the Sangamon County state's attorney. The state's attorney will decide whether to file charges. Sen. Jacobs allegedly punched Sen. McCarter in the Senate chamber.
Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline
State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Decatur.
As the Sangamon County state's attorney considers whether to file criminal charges against state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, the senator apparently will face no discipline from the Senate itself for allegedly punching a fellow lawmaker Tuesday.
Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Decatur, reported the incident to the State Capitol Police, but chose not to file an official complaint with the Senate sergeant-at-arms.
"While incidents of disorderly conduct are rare, they are not tolerated on the Senate floor," Sergeant-At-Arms Joe Dominguez said this morning. "On Tuesday, immediately following the alleged confrontation between Sen. Mike Jacobs and Sen. Kyle McCarter, I approached Sen. McCarter to inquire whether he wished to file a complaint. Sen. McCarter responded that he did not."
Sen. Jacobs could not be reached for comment again Thursday. The normally talkative, media-friendly, and accessible senator has gone silent since Tuesday when he addressed the media shortly after the incident.
He told a Chicago television station Tuesday that Sen. McCarter was "full of (expletive)" and not fit to shine his shoes.
Repeated calls to Sen. Jacobs' cell phone and office Wednesday and Thursday went unanswered. The Illinois Senate has adjourned until Oct. 25.
Springfield State Capitol Police spokesperson Henry Haupt on Thursday said his agency's report on the incident was being sent to the state's attorney.
Though he said Wednesday the report would be released when it was completed, Mr. Haupt on Thursday said, "until the state's attorney's office finishes it's business, the investigation will remain ongoing and the report cannot be released at this time."
Early Thursday afternoon, Sangamon County State's Attorney John Milhiser said he had not yet received the report, but would release his findings after he's able to examine it and make a determination about charges.
Sen. McCarter said Sen. Jacobs approached him combatively following a Senate floor debate Tuesday on a bill sponsored by Sen. Jacobs and lobbied for by his father, Denny Jacobs. Sen. McCarter, during the debate, asserted the Jacobs' roles amounted to a conflict of interest.
"After the debate, Sen. Jacobs came to my seat using profanity and pointing his finger before he punched me with his fist in my chest," Sen. McCarter said in a written statement released Wednesday.
"Sen. McCarter is going to wait for the (State Capitol Police) to issue their report before making any additional comments," said Ray Watt of the Senate Republican Caucus Office of Communication and Public Affairs, speaking on behalf of Sen. McCarter.
Sen. McCarter "plans to follow through with his original complaint," Mr. Watt added.
Sen. Tim Bivins, R-Dixon, said he stepped between the two senators after what he described as Sen. Jacobs throwing a punch that hit Sen. McCarter in the chest.
Sen. Bivins, a former Lee County sheriff, said Sen. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria, also saw the incident. Sen. LaHood could not be reached for comment Wednesday or this morning.
The bill that caused the alleged altercation was Senate Bill 1652. The bill, if signed into law, would allow the state's largest utilities providers, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) and Ameren, to bypass the Illinois Commerce Commission in levying an increase in electric rates to help pay for a modernization of the power grid in Illinois.
The providers assert the modernization will improve energy performance and create jobs.
The bill was passed by both the Illinois House and Senate and now is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. The governor, along with Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Commerce Commission and various consumer groups publicly have opposed the bill. Gov. Quinn is expected to veto it.
According to Lobbying Activity Detail Reports on file with the Illinois Secretary of State, Denny Jacobs, a former state senator, is a paid lobbyist for ComEd. In a report filed Feb. 17, he wrote he had "lobbied two legislators on bill pertaining to the electrical grid system." It was one of several reports he filed his year listing lobbying efforts on the bill.
The report does not name the two lawmakers. Mr. Jacobs said his son was not one of them.