Saturday, August 8, 2009

He Said, She Said

The circus that steamrolled Lake County Coroner Dr Richard Keller has pitched its stakes on both the MSM and the blogosphere this week. A lot of high profile players, like Michael Waller, Terry Link, Dan Venturi, have jumped in with their talking points. Adding to the circus atmosphere is a partisan troll who has been predictably showing up on this blog demanding Keller's scalp.

The odd thing, to me at least, is the both the timing and the source of the story. Steve Vaughn, who was being treated for drug addiction, died on Dec 3 of last year. Now eight months later we're all talking about the investigation. What happened between then and now?

Investigations obviously take time, but this investigation is far from complete. The press is usually not notified when an investigation is in progress for obvious reasons. When the press does learn about an on-going investigation it's because someone leaked it. The investigation is being conducted by Lake County State's Attorney Michael Waller. Who leaked the Keller investigation and why?

According to the News-Sun:
State's Attorney Michael Waller said his office began investigating Vaughn's death in February at the request of Vaughn's family.
But according to another News-Sun story on the same day, the deceased's mother
said she is unsure who initiated the investigation into her son's death, but said investigators from the Lake County State's Attorney's Office told her they were looking into an increase in heroin and methadone deaths.
Did the Vaughn family contact Waller's office? Or did the State's Attorney contact the Vaughn family?

As reported in the News-Sun Keller maintains it's all a political witch-hunt. Keller announced last month that he did not plan to seek re-election in 2012. And Keller admitted to the News-Sun that the investigation contributed to his decision. Was Keller coerced? Or worse, was the threat of an investigation in some way an occasion for political blackmail?

Keller's announcement last month was also noticed by the partisan blog TeamAmerica:
Something here smells like a corpse the coroner forgot to put back into the freezer for a few days. TA suspects there is much more than just a re-evaluation of Keller's life priorities behind this decision.
Do Dead Men Have Tales to Tell?
Lake County Coroner Richard Keller's Decision Not to Seek Re-election Should Raise Questions
If you read the entire post and between the lines, it's hard not to suspect that TeamAmerica was tipped off in advance about the investigation.

According to the News-Sun, the State's Attorney says he is just doing his job:
Waller, a Republican who has served as state's attorney for nearly 20 years, denied that the investigation had anything to do with politics, saying his office is merely investigating what they're tasked to do. He said it may take some time before his office comes to any conclusion.
Stay tuned, I'm sure we haven't heard the end of this one.


Anonymous said...

I wish that Waller would 'just do his job' when GOP-members are alleged to have done something wrong.
Is leaking information for preferred vendors of 'information' prudent, respectable, or ethical? How come it doesn't happen when GOP members are investigated if its not political?

Does he know he is not the judge and jury and that if potential wrong-doing is found it shouldn't be ignored because of things like one's age, a lack of familiarity with the tool or instrument at hand, or the benevolent assistance of a friend?

I guess I'll just wait til I'm a senior citizen and a newfangled gadget comes out to start my crime-spree. Only by that time - I can only hope - double standard Waller won't be in office.

One would think that the Grand Old Party that has such disdain for corrupt, inconsistent, or shady public office holders wouldn't stand for it.
Though I guess if you are protected from the law, no one else needs to be.
If you have health insurance, no one else deserves it.
You can protest healthcare reform, but I can't protest the war.


Are ya still working on meeting the terms of the Contract with America? What were the terms that the average American had to meet?

Anonymous said...

Waller is doing his job. He is investigating the death of a young man as a result of an overdose of methodone and xanax. The methodone was prescribed by Dr. Keller - period. It does not appear he ordered a urine test or any other test on the deceased or he would clearly remember it under these circumstances.

This is not a "witch hunt" on Dr. Keller. This is an investigation into wrong doing. Clearly, even if you are a Kool-Aid drinking Democrat, you must question why a Coroner would conduct an investigation on an individual who overdosed on a prescription he provided.

Oh, and by the way, for those of you that think Mike Waller is going after Keller because he's a Democrat - ask YOUR Chairman Terry Link why he got away with submitting nearly 2,700 signatures that were fraudulent. They were in alphabetical order, they included the names of dead people and on and on.

Was Terry prosecuted? NO!

Typical Democrats - make a mistake - blame the Republicans!

Anonymous said...

I believe that there was a full investigation into the Link for Senate campaign staffer issue and that charges were filed.

Now for previous and current Republican office-holders, there are scant investigations, imprudent 'leaks,' and charges being filed. A former Sheriff comes to mind. Local government officials who shall remain nameless come to mind (think Townships and Villages).
And County officers come to mind - think Clerk of the Court's office - relatives in charge of finances?
Think a failure to enforce the law courtesy of the County Clerk's Office.

Keep drinking the Kool-Aid in thinking that Waller and Helander are objective. Ms. Helander's GOP-talking-point laced pressers last year are the tip of the iceberg.

Those who pay attention know different.

Anonymous said...

The Link charges were ruled upon by the Illinois State Board of Elections, which voted along party lines not to pursue the matter further.

Almost the same as Democrat Keller investigating doctor Keller!

redtail said...

Anon 8:19, thanks for the input.

There are no rules, legal or medical, for Methadone clinics regarding urine testing. If this is what Waller is investigating, then he is on a fishing expedition.

Also, how would the Coroner's office know how the deceased died before conducting an investigation? It was a subsequent independent lab report that determined it was an overdose.