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Farnham resigns, under federal investigation

19 March 2014 Elgin Illinois 42 Comments

State Rep. Keith Farnham (D-Elgin) State Rep. Keith Farnham (D-Elgin) (Photo by The Elginite).

Democratic State Rep. Keith Farnham of Elgin has resigned from his seat in the Illinois legislature, following federal raids last week on his home and office in Elgin. Investigators from ICE/HSI seized his computers, but have so far not disclosed information on the nature of the investigation.

According to wikipedia, ICE’s HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) unit investigates everything except illegal immigration:

HSI Special Agents use their broad legal authority to investigate a range of issues that threaten the national security of the United States such as human rights violations, human smuggling, art theft, human trafficking, drug smuggling, arms trafficking, transnational gang investigations, financial crimes including money laundering and bulk cash smuggling, trade-based money laundering (including trade finance and Kimberley Process investigations), computer crimes, including the transportation and receipt of child pornography via the Internet, and import/export enforcement issues.

With Farnham out of the picture, neither Republicans nor Democrats have a candidate for the 43rd District seat, but both parties are likely to slate a candidate before the November election.

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42 Responses to “Farnham resigns, under federal investigation”

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  1. Gibster says:

    “Say it ain’t so, Joe, say it ain’t so”

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/26292912-417/elgin-dem-farnham-resigns-in-wake-of-federal-investigation.html

    Conflict with ICE and the Contract Painting Biz perhaps?

    • RS says:

      He’s been out of business for so long now, I don’t think it can have anything at all to do with painting. They seized computers which means it’s most likely a computer crime and as he’s now citing health issues, he may try to use being sick as a defense.

  2. One Vote says:

    Keith was always friendly and willing to talk. And he was not one to argue with people, unlike our illustrious state senator.
    Resigning is a noble thing to do, but we should still be privy to the details of the case.

    • RS says:

      I don’t think there’s anything noble about it at all. It’s the right thing but it’s also self-serving. He’s about to be arrested; he knows he has to organize a defense; he cannot serve out his term from jail; being an ex-lawmaker would result in less publicity when he’s arrested, etc. He wasn’t even honest about why he resigned. Just as he was not honest when he ran against Ruth Munson, claiming he was a successful businessman that didn’t need the job or pension, when in fact years later we find out that at the time his business was bankrupt, owing a fortune to various creditors/vendors/partners. He’s come to an ignominious end and we should not be surprised. But I feel sorry for his family.

      • One Vote says:

        I was thinking noble as in stepping aside right away. Think about those politicians who have hung on too long, not doing their work and feigning innocence.
        Recently the AG of Utah resigned after months of investigation. His resignation date happened to be the day after he qualified for his pension.
        ‘Tis nobler to resign right away.
        I don’t know what he’s done, but the ill health bit doesn’t help his public image.
        And, like I said before, we deserve to know his crime.

  3. Craig says:

    This is a great picture! The news outlets would’ve paid big bucks for this over the stock photos that they had on hand.

    Of course there are two sides to any story, but Mr. Farnham always struck me as a nice guy. I hope this turns out to be overblown.

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      This is a shame, but I do agree with RS’s observations that the voters were mislead about Keith. Thanks for the timely posts. Chuck

  4. SIE says:

    He rang my door when he was first running. We had a nice talk and I did vote for him. Even though I had voted for Munsonin the past.

    I regretted it as I was not impressed with his record and stance on several issues.

    Too bad Ruth didn’t run in the recent election and has no plans to run now. She’s too busy being succesfull I suppose.

    I thought it odd that no one ran on the Republican side. Was Farnham that dominant? He only won by 400 votes in 2008.

    The article states the Kane County Democrats will appoint a replacement and Kane County Republicans will slate a candidate for november. I don’t live in Kane County but I do live in the 43rd district. So I guess our portion of his district gets no input in to who will represent us.

    It goes along with every other aspect of being in the Cook Coounty portion of Elgin.

    • RS says:

      It’s the party brokers that decide, so not a lot of people will be able to give input anyway. You can always join the KC Republicans. I doubt they care whether you live on the Cook or Kane side.

  5. RS says:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140320/news/140329737/

    With the surprise resignation of Democrat Keith Farnham from the Illinois House this week days after federal agents searched his home and office, speculation has grown about what might happen to the Elgin-based legislative seat in November.

    Former state Sen. Steve Rauschenberger said he’s been approached by some Republicans about possibly being the GOP candidate. No Republican has filed to run for the seat, but party leaders could appoint one.

    “I said I would give it some thought, but I doubt it,” he said.

  6. Chuck Keysor says:

    The Courier and the Daily Herald are now saying that the Feds were looking for kiddie porn on Farnham’s PCs. Chuck
    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/26367307-417/computers-seized-at-former-state-rep-farnhams-office-in-child-porn-investigation.html

  7. SIE says:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140321/news/140329512/

    Nothing is shocking in this day and age but if true this sure comes close.

  8. Gibster says:

    Some additional commentary from the yocals in the Chicago Tribune

    http://my.chicagotribune.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-79715371/

  9. Chuck Keysor says:

    Thank you LFG for posting the best article I have read on this. It was also interesting to me to note that Keith has voted in favor of gay marriage. The last time I talked to Keith, maybe last summer as I was walking home from Butera and he was leaving Westwind Tower/104 S. State, we talked for maybe 10 minutes. He asked me if I knew a candidate who was probably going to run against him, and I said no, I knew nothing about him.

    Then Keith, knowing I am socially conservative asked if I knew this person (who’s name I can’t even begin to recall) supported gay marriage. I said, gee, I don’t like that, and would never vote for someone with such a view. He then said, well, I thought you would want to know. So, I thanked him, and asked him to remind me if that is the person who winds up running against him, to let me know, and I will put his/Keith’s sign in my yard, because I don’t like gay marriage. He of course never once even HINTED that he had voted in favor of gay marriage.

    So, that shows that I am not very well informed, yes, but it also does not reflect well on Keith that he would string me along like that.

    Chuck

  10. wombat says:

    Rush just mentioned the Farnham story today on his show (around 1:10 p.m.)~

    • Margaret Miller says:

      RS,
      Please update the website to reflect daylight savings time.

      The above was posted an hour before it was reported to happen.

      Thank you

    • RS says:

      http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/03/27/culture_of_corruption_fbi_busts_democrats_nationwide

      Here’s another example. Keith Farnham, Illinois Democrat, FBI raided his place. He’s one of these raids. Here’s the headline: “A Tireless Advocate for Children Raided for Child Pornography.” You won’t find this in the Drive-By Media. You will find it in conservative blogs and, ah, the Chicago Tribune did a couple of stories on it.

      But here are the details. Keith Farnham, who looks like Jack Kevorkian with a little more weight. You know, Kevorkian was this cadaverous looking little guy. This guy looks just like Kevorkian, white hair, the dark, deep inset eyes, but a little heavier.

      “He resigned last week from the State Legislature in Illinois, citing ‘health reasons.’ This week, the FBI raided his house, because they have probable cause to merit a search warrant based on evidence that there may be CHILD PORNOGRAPHY on one of his computers. In fact, the Chicago Tribune had this to say about this apparently non-story (because no one is reporting about it, really, except conservative news sites): ‘Federal agents sought evidence of child pornography last week when they seized computers from the Elgin district office of former state Rep. Keith Farnham, who resigned Wednesday, according to a search warrant released Friday. In addition, a federal agent on Thursday took a laptop computer that Farnham used in the Illinois House chamber, and last week agents removed a computer from a legislative office building next to the Capitol, according to the documents and an interview with a state technology official. Asked about the child pornography matter, Farnham, 66, said Friday in a phone interview: “I can’t comment about any of it.”‘”

      A tireless advocate for children. Of course! Every Democrat’s a tireless advocate for the children. In this case old Keith Farnham apparently was using his advocacy for children to cover up the fact that he really likes child porn. And that was the point that our previous caller was making. This goes beyond hypocrisy, but they are that. But most of their political life is a cover for what they’re actually doing.

      Also picked up on Gateway Pundit:

      http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/03/well-liked-illinois-democrat-busted-in-child-porn-sting-work-computers-confiscated/

  11. JustAnotherElginite says:

    Then Keith, knowing I am socially conservative asked if I knew this person (who’s name I can’t even begin to recall) supported gay marriage. I said, gee, I don’t like that, and would never vote for someone with such a view. He then said, well, I thought you would want to know. So, I thanked him, and asked him to remind me if that is the person who winds up running against him, to let me know, and I will put his/Keith’s sign in my yard, because I don’t like gay marriage. He of course never once even HINTED that he had voted in favor of gay marriage.

    So, that shows that I am not very well informed, yes, but it also does not reflect well on Keith that he would string me along like that.

    You guys need to get over the gay thing and keep this “religious right” off to the side. It’s 2014. Not voting for someone because they’re “Gay” is exactly why the Republican Party is do God-damned fractured. Look what we have right now. Why do we have it this bad right now?? I point to the post above which is the mentality of the entire Republican Party.

    Lighten up. I’d rather someone be “Gay”, than a be f’ing “Pervert” who looks at kiddie-porn on his tax-payer paid for computers!

    • RS says:

      I’m sure Chuck would vote for a gay person. He just doesn’t support gay marriage. There’s a difference.

      • Chuck Keysor says:

        Thank you RS, you are correct. Just Another Elginite was either choosing to ignore my point, or he does not read very carefully.

        The entire point for my post in the Keith Farnham thread, was to provide a recent, personal experience, shining a tiny bit of new insight on Keith Farnham. So I told how Keith Farnham chose to play upon what he knew of me to try and win my vote through an implied misrepresentation of his own position. Without Keith actually saying anything at all untrue, he led me to a false conclusion that was against gay marriage. And I in the end used myself as an object lesson in the consequences of being so poorly informed.

        I would also disagree with JAE’s contention that the state of the GOP is due to the religious right and their issues. Rather our problems are from too few strong candidates, and too many candidates who see their only way to success is to be like Democrats.

        Then most incongruously JAE says that my post shows the mentality of the entire Republican party right after he has said the party is fractured on religious issues. Look, we can’t be fractured over religious issues and at the same time all share the same mentality on religious issues………

        Lastly, JAE accepts “gay” as something totally normal, displaying a wide tolerance for alternative life styles. But then in the same sentence, he points to someone into kiddie-porn as a pervert. Where is your tolerance man??? You sound like a right wing, narrow minded religious nut to me!

        Honestly, I think you are a liberal democrat who is simply posting under a silly name, wanting to do some conservative bashing

        Chuck

  12. Margaret Miller says:

    Elgin-area Dems set to name replacement for Keith Farnham

    By Janelle Walker For Sun-Times Media March 28, 2014 1:14PM
    Updated: March 28, 2014 5:03PM

    ELGIN — A replacement for Keith Farnham as the 43rd District state representative in Springfield will be sworn in Sunday afternoon, local Democratic Party officials said.

    House Democrats were in the process of vetting eight people who threw their name into the ring to replace Farnham, said Kane County Democrat Chairman Mark Guethle on Friday. The swearing in is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Baker Hill Restaurant, 1279 Dundee Ave.

    “The statute reads that myself and the Hanover Township Democratic committee chair (Trudy Zaja) will decide who will replace Farnham. We are trying to get it done as soon as possible,” Guethle said.

    Both have been in discussions with House Democratic staffs about how to move forward, Guethle said.

    “There have been a lot of good people, a lot of talented people, who have done just fine,” representing the area in different roles. “All eight are qualified,” he said. “Hopefully soon, we will … get a representative in Springfield.”

    Included in that vetting process were Anna Moeller, current Elgin City Council member, and Cristina Castro, current Kane County Board member from Elgin.

    Both had OK’d releasing their names, Guethle said. The other six individuals who contacted officials asking their names be considered for Farnham’s seat had asked to remain unnamed, he said.

    Castro said she would wait and see who, ultimately, is selected to fill the seat and an open slot on the November ballot.

    “I respect the process and (will) see what happens. There is a lot of speculation and a lot of names floating around. We will find out soon enough,” Castro said Friday.

    Farnham resigned March 19, six days after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials seized computer equipment from Farnham’s state office and home.

    The search was part of a probe into child pornography, according to a federal search warrant released last week by the Illinois House.

    Farnham, who first won the seat in 2008, resigned one day after the Democratic primary. He was unopposed on the ballot, and no Republican candidate had filed for the seat, although local GOP members have said they expect to field a candidate for the November election.

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/26498036-418/elgin-area-dems-set-to-name-replacement-for-keith-farnham.html

  13. Margaret Miller says:

    Farnham’s replacement to be selected Saturday

    Kevin Echevarria
    Cristina Castro
    Anna Moeller

    Article updated: 3/28/2014 6:08 PM

    Farnham’s replacement to be selected Saturday
    By Elena Ferrarin .

    Democratic Party leaders will meet Saturday to select a new state representative for the 43rd District, who will take the oath of office Sunday, officials said Friday afternoon.

    Elgin businessman Kevin Echevarria is among candidates who have been interviewed by Democratic officials for the seat left vacant after Keith Farnham resigned March 19, Kane County Democratic Party Chairman Mark Guethle confirmed Friday.

    Another candidate is Elgin Councilwoman Anna Moeller. Kane County Board member Cristina Castro said she also talked to Democratic officials about the vacant House seat.

    Echevarria, 26, a lifelong Elgin resident, co-owns Rria Foods in Elgin. He is a former Democratic precinct committeeman, he said.

    He unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the Elgin Area School District U-46 board at age 21. He is now a member of the design committee of the Elgin Charter School Initiative, which wants to open a new charter school in Elgin.

    Echevarria said that although he always intended to run for office someday, he was surprised to get a call from Democratic officials after Farnham resigned.

    “I would have never thought I’d be on anybody’s list,” he said.

    “With that said, I would do it. That’s an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often, even if it’s very bad circumstances. The worst circumstances ever.”

    Farnham cited “serious health issues” in his resignation, which came a few days after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations officials said they executed a warrant at his Elgin office looking for evidence of possession of child pornography. Officials said his home was searched as well.

    Farnham was unopposed in the March 18 primary. No Republican has yet filed to run in the district, which includes most of Elgin and portions of Barrington Hills, Carpentersville, East Dundee and South Elgin.

    The new state representative will be sworn in at 2 p.m. Sunday at Baker Hill Restaurant, 1279 Dundee Ave., Elgin, said Marty McCormack, a state House Democratic staff member.

    “Hopefully it will be a solid person who can step in and serve during the remainder of the legislature, and be a good candidate in November,” said Steve Brown, spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan.

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140328/news/140328378/

  14. One Vote says:

    For those of you who don’t read Chris Muir every day…a local angle:
    http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2014/03/31/

  15. Margaret Miller says:

    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=9521869

    April 30, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Former state representative Keith Farnham appeared in federal court for the first time to answer charges of possessing child pornography.

    The Elgin Democrat abruptly resigned his seat last month citing health reasons, but would later be named in a criminal complaint alleging that he’d traded hundreds of photos of young children engaged in sexual activity. Some of those photos were found on his state of Illinois computer, authorities said.

    Farnham, 66, has not yet entered a plea. He’s being released on home confinement. He can have no access to the internet or children under the age of 18.

  16. Gibster says:

    The Chicago Tribune and WGN are keeping up on this story, Farnham barred for using his Patio now because of a 7-year old boy in the condo unit next door.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/elgin/chi-former-state-rep-charged-with-child-porn-barred-from-own-patio-20140507,0,5851214.story

  17. Chuck Keysor says:

    Jeff Meyer has been selected by the GOP to run against Anna Moeller next fall. May the best man win! Chuck

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140507/news/140508635/

  18. RS says:

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/27116080-418/farnham-had-success-in-business-before-entering-politics.html#.U27xquZdW0Y

    But that August, former Farnham employee Dan Elvart of River Forest told the Courier-News of his successfully suing Farnham for $92,000 but not receiving any actual compensation by that time. Elvart said recently that settlement remains unpaid, but he had not been pursuing reimbursement.

    “It was an incorporated business, not Keith Farnham. I started, ran, and owned the company, but it still was an incorporation,” Farnham said then in an interview with The Courier-News.

    Elvart worked for about three years as an estimator and salesman for a company Farnham owned, K & R Christopher, Inc., which Farnham dissolved in late 2007.

    Farnham told The Courier-News that at the time he ended the company, he owed between $600,000 and $800,000 on a line of credit his company had established with First Midwest Bank. At one time, the company had a payroll of $100,000 a week and accounts were bringing in $6 million to $7 million a year, Farnham claimed.

    According to court documents from November 2007, Elvart said he had extended a loan of $150,000 to Farnham in 2003, and that on Oct. 1, 2005, Farnham signed a promissory note to repay the loan in full at a rate of 7.5 percent annual interest within a year.

    The note upped the annual interest rate to 12 percent if the loan went into default. Elvart had the right to demand immediate, full payment of the balance, plus interest, should the loan do so, and to collect attorney fees from Farnham, according to the agreement. Elvart contended that Farnham had been continuously in default on the note, and in February 2007 he demanded full payment of remaining principal and interest on the loan.

    To this day, Elvart said he mistrusts Farnham and Farnham’s wife, Susan, who kept the company’s books, and he finds the bankruptcy suspicious — and he thinks Farnham ran for office to get a pension.

  19. Margaret Miller says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/elgin/chi-3-more-child-porn-charges-against-exrep-farnham-20140523,0,1168249.story

    Staff report
    9:54 a.m. CDT, May 23, 2014

    Three more counts of child pornography have been filed against former state Rep. Keith Farnham, a month after he was initially charged with one count of possession.

    A federal indictment handed down Thursday charges the 66-year-old former lawmaker with one count of possessing child pornography involving a minor under age 12, one count of receiving child pornography and two counts of transporting child pornography.

    Farnham, who was ordered confined to his home after the initial charges were filed, will be arraigned on the new charges at a later date, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

    Farnham is accused of using both personal and state-owned computers to trade hundreds of images and videos depicting child pornography and to engage in graphic online chats in which he allegedly bragged about sexually molesting a 6-year-old girl.

    A federal criminal complaint alleges that Farnham, a Democrat from Elgin, possessed two videos depicting child pornography on a computer that was seized from his state office in Elgin a week before his abrupt resignation in March. Authorities also linked a Yahoo! email account used by Farnham to an online trading forum in which he chatted with other users about his sexual preferences, according to the charges.

    “12 is about as old as i can handle,” Farnham allegedly said in one online chat in November, according to the charges. “i love them at 6 7 8”

    Farnham twice co-sponsored bills in the House that toughened penalties for child pornography. When he resigned his seat on March 19, Farnham told the Tribune he was stepping down due to serious health concerns. A Navy veteran who ran a painting business in Elgin before running for office in 2009, Farnham said he is receiving treatment for bladder cancer and also struggles with pulmonary fibrosis, a condition that causes lung tissue to scar.

    According to the charges, the investigation began when homeland security agents received a tip from its Cyber Crimes Center that email address kimdavid5582@yahoo.com was being used to trade child pornography on the Internet.

    A search of Yahoo! logs showed a series of graphic instant messenger conversations between last June and January in which kimdavid5582 allegedly chatted with three other users about sexual preferences and exploits, according to the charges. Authorities later traced the Internet usage to the Comcast account at Farnham’s home, according to the charges.

    In one online conversation in November with a person identified only as “User A,” Farnham allegedly described in detail a sexual encounter with a 6-year-old girl.

    In another chat a few weeks later, Farnham allegedly told User A, “i wish i had access to all the vids and pics ever made.”

  20. Margaret Miller says:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-illinois-pensions-met-0523-20140523,0,7882650.story

    Child porn charge doesn’t stop ex-Elgin lawmaker’s state pension
    Farnham also paid to sweeten retirement deal
    By Ray Long, Tribune reporter
    7:23 a.m. CDT, May 23, 2014
    SPRINGFIELD—
    A former state lawmaker who is accused of trading child pornography online has started collecting a state pension of nearly $15,000 a year — an amount he bumped up by purchasing credit for time he didn’t work.

    Ex-Rep. Keith Farnham, an Elgin Democrat, is the latest Illinois lawmaker to rake in pension checks while facing federal criminal charges. Former Democratic Rep. Connie Howard of Chicago stands to reap $115,000 in the two years between her resignation and sentencing this summer.

    It’s allowed under state law; former public officials don’t automatically lose their state pensions until sentencing is on the books. One watchdog group, however, says the pension checks of ex-lawmakers facing criminal charges should be frozen at the minimal monthly level while their cases play out. And making payments to boost an annual pension, as Farnham did, should be banned pending the outcome of a criminal case, according to the group.

    “Nobody can stand by and watch this happen and feel good about it,” said retired Democratic Sen. Susan Garrett of Lake Forest, who now chairs the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, a government watchdog organization.

    It’s been a whirlwind spring for Farnham. Federal agents raided his home and legislative offices in Elgin and Springfield, seeking evidence of child pornography on computers he used. A few days later, Farnham ran unopposed in the March 18 primary. He quit the General Assembly the day after he won.

    Last month, Farnham’s first retirement check was issued, a pension official said. By the end of April, Farnham was charged with using personal and state-owned computers to trade hundreds of images and videos depicting child porn and engaging in online chats in which he allegedly bragged about molesting a 6-year-old girl. He has pleaded not guilty.

    Despite resigning under a cloud, Farnham was able to sweeten his pension. He paid the pension system $6,740 to purchase credit for the final nine months of 2014 — as if he’d actually spent time in the General Assembly for the full year, said Timothy Blair, executive director of the General Assembly Retirement System.

    That allowed Farnham to count a full six years toward his legislative pension, a maneuver worth roughly an extra $2,000 a year to push his annual taxpayer-subsidized retirement income to $14,850, Blair said.

    Asked about the situation this week, Farnham said: “I don’t know what you’re getting at. My attorney says I may not talk about anything. I don’t know what to tell you.”

    Terry Ekl, Farnham’s attorney, said it would be “appropriate” for a benefit review that focuses on being “fairer to taxpayers” but still upholds the standard that people merely charged with crimes are presumed innocent.

    In Illinois, questions about crime, punishment and pensions are more than academic. Two sitting Chicago Democrats — Reps. Derrick Smith and LaShawn Ford — are facing separate federal corruption trials. Smith’s bribery trial begins next week despite his attempt to have it delayed because it overlaps with the final scheduled week of the spring legislative session. Ford, at one time also scheduled for trial next week, won a delay in his bank fraud case.

    When a public official gets in trouble with the law, his or her case is reviewed by a pension board of current and former lawmakers who get legal advice and study recommendations made by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The board followed her recommendations and denied any state pension payments for corrupt ex-Govs. George Ryan, a Republican now out of prison, and Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat still in prison.

    Ryan collected $635,000 in pension payments in the three-plus years between his retirement and his conviction. Blagojevich remains eligible for a federal pension because he served six years in the U.S. House.

    While Farnham is just now starting to cash his pension checks, ex-Rep. Howard has been collecting hers during the nearly two years since she stepped down.

    The Tribune revealed last year that Howard already was in negotiations with federal authorities to plead guilty when she resigned abruptly from the Illinois House in July 2012. The 71-year-old veteran lawmaker was supposed to be sentenced Thursday in federal court in Springfield, but she was granted another delay and will be able to keep collecting monthly pension checks.

    Since quitting the legislature, Howard has received $105,200 in pension payments, including $48,200 since pleading guilty last summer. That includes a cost-of-living increase that boosted her monthly pension to $4,890 — or about $58,700 a year.

    Her latest sentencing date is July 17 — a week shy of a year since she pleaded guilty. She faces up to six months in prison and six months of home confinement.

    In the House, Howard chaired the Computer Technology Committee. Along the way, the South Side lawmaker held golf outings to raise money for scholarships bearing her name for students in computer sciences and technology. Authorities said very little of the money she raised ended up helping students.

    The pension board can determine that a retiree is still eligible for a pension despite a conviction if a ruling is made that the crime was not directly related to his or her role as a public official. Howard pleaded guilty to one felony mail fraud count related to her activities from summer 2007.

    Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne, who sits on the panel overseeing legislative pensions, said the Howard example provides a reason to study potential changes in the law to see whether the pension spigot could be cut off sooner.

    “I will definitely look into at what point — and how — we should treat those individuals who have pleaded guilty in the course of their duties as an elected state representative — or a state official — period,” said Clayborne, a Belleville Democrat. “Obviously, it raises great concerns as to whether you should continue to receive (the) benefits.”

    rlong@tribune.com

  21. Margaret Miller says:

    Farnham mulls plea deal in child pornography case

    http://couriernews.suntimes.com/2014/07/10/farnham-mulls-plea-deal-in-child-pornography-case/

    Former State Rep. Keith Farnham is considering a plea deal in his federal child pornography case, his attorney says.

    The Elgin Democrat has maintained his innocence since he was charged in April, but is now negotiating with prosecutors, his lawyer Terry Ekl told U.S. District Judge Edmund Chang Thursday morning.

    Farnham, who again wore an oxygen tank in court Thursday, did not speak during the brief hearing.

    The 66-year-old is accused of emailing videos of children who appeared to be as young as six months old being molested, according to a criminal complaint filed earlier this year.

    Farnham, who resigned citing undisclosed “health issues,” has been ordered to wear an electronic ankle bracelet and has been placed under house arrest with strict rules that even prevent him from using his patio to ensure he stays away from children.

    He recently had to ask a judge for permission to remove the ankle bracelet temporarily while he underwent a hospital scan.

    He quit shortly after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided his home and state office in Elgin and seized a computer on March 13.

    A federal complaint alleges he used a phony name in online chatrooms to trade child porn while at his office and at his home. In one webchat in November, he boasted that he’d sexually abused a 6-year-old girl, the complaint alleges.

    Though he has not been charged with molesting the girl, he faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of possessing child pornography.

    Chang on Thursday told Farnham he has until Sept. 2 to agree to a deal with prosecutors, or the case will be set for trial.

  22. bw says:

    Jeff Meyer best to represent the district for next 4 years. Moeller cost the taxpayer’s $500,000 in a stupid federal lawsuit involving a church group and a parking of a van to help the poor get abortion advice and help. She has no savvy for the job. She lacks the compassion needed for the job. “THE VAN IS AN EYESORE” was her position at the time she had the chief of police shut the service down. The court disagreed with her position,

    • Chuck Keysor says:

      Thanks Margaret for the latest in the continuing saga of Keith Farnham. It is interesting that Anna Moeller was tapped to replace Keith. I would have thought that the machine that selected Anna would have not picked her because of the TLC issue. Yes, Anna is sharp, but the anger that she created with the Pro-Life people, AND the people that are mad about the City having spent so much money in a law suit that went nowhere (being kind), and the appearance that there was a manipulation of the City’s affairs to further Anna’s political agenda should have made them pick someone else.

      I look forward to seeing if Anna will be willing to defend herself in any one on one debates during this election cycle. Will she try to be like Tammy Duckworth and avoid one on one debates with her challenger, or will she prove her mettle and her worth to the voters by standing up to a series of debates with her opponent?

      Any guesses as to what she will do, duck and hide or come out swinging????? Chuck

      • Margaret Miller says:

        Hi Chuck,

        No predictions but suggest the message of her tax, spend and bailout record become known to the other cities in the 43rd so they can make an informed decision when its time to vote.

        Did we want to start a list?

  23. bw says:

    She already tried to defend herself before the council the night she and the legal council were late for the meeting. Her comments before the council at that meeting were a bunch of bs. She is going to have to tell the truth about her position on the TLC issue including getting the police chief involved. If she was deposed by the TLC attorney I would like to read what she told them. If I was Jeff Meyer I would make her sing like a bird. She has a lot of defending to do. The TLC issue is not going away. She was the star player during those legal proceedings. Meyer’s is an attorney and should b able to find out what went on.

  24. RS says:

    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20140709/news/140708749/

    Officers from the department’s resident officer program and crime-free housing unit are in charge of keeping track of Elgin’s approximately 120 registered sex offenders, Elgin police Lt. Frank Trost said.

    Sex offenders must notify the local enforcement agency of their residence within three days of moving. Most have to do that for 10 years; sexual predators must register for life. Failing to register once is a Class 3 felony, and a Class 2 felony thereafter, Trost said.

    However, the August 2013 ruling by the Second District Illinois Appellate Court regarding a case in Aurora means that police, in addition to having to prove sex offenders are not living at their registered address, have to prove they have been living elsewhere for more than five days, Trost said.

    Consequently, Trost said, police now have to allocate extra time and resources — through surveillance and record-checking — to prove residence at the unregistered address, which is especially burdensome if the sex offenders moved out of town, Trost said.

    There are interesting comments on that article on the DH site. Maybe we need to stop using these registries if it’s a waste of money and the recidivism rate is so low.

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