http://www.joebirkett.com


About Joe:

Joseph E. Birkett grew up on Chicago’s West Side along with his nine brothers and sisters. His father died when Joe was just thirteen years old but with the strength and guidance of his mother, the entire family worked hard to pull through the tough times. Following his graduation from St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School, Joe attended St. Phillip High School in Chicago which closed in 1970 after his freshman year. Joe then accepted a football scholarship from Aurora Central Catholic where he went on to become the Team Captain and Most Valuable Player. He was also named to the National Honor Society for his academic excellence. Joe accepted another football scholarship from North Central College in Naperville where he again was voted the Team Captain. During his college days, Joe won the Chicago Golden Gloves and Chicago Park District Light-Heavyweight Boxing Championships. In 1977, Joe graduated with honors, earning Degrees in Political Science and English.

Joe married his high school sweetheart Patti Hill who helped him finance his law school tuition while she worked at AT&T Bell Labs. While at John Marshall Law School, Joe placed first in the Intramural Moot Court Competition and was named to the school’s Constitutional Moot Court Team. Joe received his Law Degree in 1981 and was admitted to the Illinois Bar later that same year.

Joe became an Assistant State’s Attorney in DuPage County in October 1981 and advanced rapidly through the Criminal Division. In 1985, he was promoted to Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, prosecuting drug delivery cases. The next year Joe was named Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. He served from 1991 until October of 1996 as the Chief of the Criminal Division, supervising more than fifty prosecutors, ten investigators, victim/witness advocates, law clerks and paralegals. He has tried over one hundred felony cases to verdict including death penalty jury trials.

On October 1, 1996, Joe was sworn in as DuPage County State’s Attorney, completing the unexpired term of Jim Ryan who was elected Illinois Attorney General, and Anthony Peccarelli who was appointed State’s Attorney in January of 1995. One month later, Joe was elected to the position for a four-year term, and in November of 2000 he was re-elected for another four-year term. He was the Republican Nominee for Illinois Attorney General in 2002 and won all 102 Counties in the Primary Election. He was reelected to his third term as State’s Attorney in 2004.

Joe is a teacher, a frequent lecturer across the nation, and an award-winning administrator. He has been responsible for initiating policy and procedures and for training junior prosecutors. Throughout his career, Joe has received numerous awards and commendations for prosecutorial excellence from State’s Attorneys, law enforcement agencies and victims. He is a Past President of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation, and is also a member of the American and DuPage County Bar Associations, DuPage American Inns of Court, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, the Illinois House of Representatives Capital Punishment Task Force, the Illinois Governor’s Criminal Code Rewrite Commission and is an adjunct faculty member at National Louis University in Wheaton.

Joe donates time to coaching basketball, boxing and baseball. He and his wife Patti have been residents of DuPage County since 1977. They live in Wheaton with their two children and are members of St. Daniel’s Church.


Birkett: pension funds must be guarded By NORMA MENDOZA,

10/13/2006

Lieutenant governor candidate calls for changes: Joe Birkett, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and Judy Baar Topinka's running mate, made a swing through southwestern Illinois Thursday, stopping in Collinsville to briefly address the Illinois Public Pension Fund Association Conference.

The IPPFA represents police and fire pension funds.

These pension funds, like other public pension funds in the state of Illinois, are drastically underfunded. Estimates say Illinois is $35 billion in the red when it comes to what the state owes to the funds.

For some 30 years, the state has each year underpaid its share to the pension funds. A Business Week article claims that the state owes $2.6 billion to the funds this year and within five years that debt will grow to $4 billion annually.

Birkett talked to the attendees about the abuse of trust by public officials. He told them that pension funds must be safeguarded.

His remarks came at an opportune time considering the federal indictment of one of Gov. Rod Blagojevich's top fund raisers on Wednesday, who is alleged to have conspired to extort money in exchange for contracts from the state.

According to an Associated Press article Thursday, Antoin “Tony” Rezko is accused of using his influence in state government to get Stuart Levine, another defendant, reappointed to the board of the Illinois Teachers Retirement System so they could continue to allegedly demand kickbacks from contractors doing business with the teachers' pension board.

“Yesterday's indictment was not a surprise,” Birkett said after the meeting adjourned. He said the investigation has been on-going. “At best, the governor was asleep at the switch.”

He went on to say the inner-circle scandal surrounding Blagojevich makes George Ryan's corruption look like nickel and dime stuff. It won't be the last time the scandal is mentioned in the Baar Topinka-Birkett campaign.

He said they have a jobs plan, an agricultural plan and an ethics plan. Baar Topinka also has a four-year budget program which Birkett said has never been done before. But, it's the ethics plan they are going to tout, now.

“Judy (Baar Topinka) and I agree that this election is about change,” Birkett said. “I'm an elected official and nobody gets hired by me without a complete background check. Ultimately, I'm responsible for the people that work in my office.”

Birkett is the DuPage County state's attorney and runs an award-winning office. It has received three awards from the National Association of Counties for its Parental Gang Awareness Program, the Milton Thrasher Award for rooting out gangs and much other recognition.

“We haven't had the kind of leadership we need to root out gangs in the state,” he said. “We need to look at how to keep kids out of the criminal justice system.”

The DuPage County Children's Advocacy Center, initiated by his office in 1987, is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as one of the outstanding programs in the nation.

Birkett can identify with the problems kids face. He is one of 10 children raised by their mother after their father drowned in a boating accident when Birkett was just 13. He said with so many children to care for, it was impossible for his mother to work outside the home, so he and his siblings got jobs.

He went to North Central Illinois College in Naperville on a football scholarship and is the only one among his siblings to get a college degree. He went on to law school and has spent 25 years as a prosecutor.

He told the pension fund representatives that one of the responsibilities of government is to keep the people safe and that the state needs to make public safety priority. He said plans were put into motion after 9/11, but there has been a lull in activity.

“Disaster planning has been top-down from the leadership,” he said. “We need to meet with people across the state. Preparation isn't about planned drills – it's day-to-day like justice. It doesn't have a goal line, it's on-going, day-to-day.”

He said the state has technology that is underutilized that could be used to track gangs and child sexual predators. He said there needs to be better communication among law enforcement officials.

Many of the pension fund representatives crowded around Birkett after the meeting, promising him their support in November.

It is somewhat ironic that he is running on the Republican ticket, he said. He said his father-in-law, Jack Hill, who he described as a “big Democrat,” served several years as the mayor of Aurora.


Rules issued on notice of teen abortions State high court acts on 11-year-old law

By Michael Higgins, Tribune staff reporter. Published September 21, 2006.

Sparking debate on a divisive political issue, the Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday issued key rules designed to revive a 1995 law that prohibits minors from obtaining abortions without notifying a parent.

The state Supreme Court's refusal to issue the rules had left the law dormant for 11 years, to the consternation of advocacy groups seeking stricter limits on abortion.

Supporters of parental notification cheered the court Wednesday, saying it had cleared the way for state Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to seek to overturn a federal court order that bars the state from enforcing the law.

Parental notification “is the law of the state of Illinois. The court has made it clear,” said DuPage County State's Atty. Joseph Birkett, who wrote a letter to the Supreme Court in June urging them to take up the issue. “The next step will be lifting the [federal court] injunction. … I'm confident the attorney general will go to court.”

But opponents of the law were quick to disagree, saying Madigan need not take action.

“It would be a perfectly appropriate decision for the attorney general to say, `This is not a live statute anymore. It was permanently enjoined. … If the people of Illinois want parental notification, it's up to the legislature to pass a new law,'” said Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Madigan spokeswoman Cara Smith said only: “We are reviewing the rules and the [1995] law to determine the next step in the litigation.” She would not elaborate.

Birkett said Wednesday that as a state's attorney, he also would have standing to ask U.S. District Judge Paul Plunkett to lift his 1996 order blocking the law. Birkett added, however, that he didn't expect that to be necessary and would seek to meet with Madigan before taking action.

The Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 requires that a physician tell a parent, grandparent or legal guardian at least two days before someone younger than 18 gets an abortion.

The law provides exceptions in certain cases, such as when a parent has sexually or physically abused a minor. The law also allows a judge to waive notice if the minor is sufficiently mature or if notification is not in the minor's best interests.

The new rules, which are 2 1/2 pages, say the minor can seek the waiver by filing a petition in circuit court. Under the rule, the petition and any hearing on the matter are confidential. The judge must rule within 48 hours.

If the waiver is denied, the minor can use a court-appointed lawyer to appeal, the rule said. The Appellate Court has three days to rule and the state Supreme Court, if it accepts an appeal, must rule within five days.

ACLU officials, who sued to block the law in 1995, could head back to federal court to try to keep the ban in place.

Chaiten said officials were still analyzing the new rules on Wednesday and had not decided on their next move, though she did criticize the rules as too burdensome.

“You can imagine being 16 or 17 and being faced with these rules,” she said. “It's an enormously cumbersome process. It will be overwhelming to teens, and … traumatic to them.”

Katharine Baker, a constitutional law professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, said she saw no immediate red flags in the rules that would leave them vulnerable to attack.

Birkett argued that the rules appear to have all the necessary safeguards–including confidentiality and the right to appointed counsel–to stand up to legal challenges.

The Supreme Court, which approved the new rules unanimously, drafted them after studying notification rules that had passed legal muster in other states, court spokesman Joseph Tybor said Wednesday.

Illinois is the only state in the region without a parental involvement law. Abortion opponents say that has caused thousands of minors to come to Illinois from neighboring states to obtain abortions, skirting their local laws.

Many abortion-rights activists oppose the requirement, saying it would intimidate some girls from seeking an abortion for fear of parents' reaction.

source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0609210057sep21,1,7439996.story?ctrack=1&cset=true


Joe Birkett:

Joseph E. BirkettJoseph E. Birkett grew up on Chicago’s West Side along with his nine brothers and sisters. His father died when Joe was just thirteen years old but with the strength and guidance of his mother, the entire family worked hard to pull through the tough times.

Following his graduation from St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School, Joe attended St. Phillip High School in Chicago which closed in 1970 after his freshman year. Joe then accepted a football scholarship from Aurora Central Catholic where he went on to become the Team Captain and Most Valuable Player. He was also named to the National Honor Society for his academic excellence. Joe accepted another football scholarship from North Central College in Naperville where he again was voted the Team Captain. During his college days, Joe won the Chicago Golden Gloves and Chicago Park District Light-Heavyweight Boxing Championships. In 1977, Joe graduated with honors, earning Degrees in Political Science and English.

Joe married his high school sweetheart Patti Hill who helped him finance his law school tuition while she worked at AT&T Bell Labs. While at John Marshall Law School, Joe placed first in the Intramural Moot Court Competition and was named to the school’s Constitutional Moot Court Team. Joe received his Law Degree in 1981 and was admitted to the Illinois Bar later that same year.

Joe became an Assistant State’s Attorney in DuPage County in October 1981 and advanced rapidly through the Criminal Division. In 1985, he was promoted to Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, prosecuting drug delivery cases. The next year Joe was named Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. He served from 1991 until October of 1996 as the Chief of the Criminal Division, supervising more than fifty prosecutors, ten investigators, victim/witness advocates, law clerks and paralegals. He has tried over one hundred felony cases to verdict including death penalty jury trials.

On October 1, 1996, Joe was sworn in as DuPage County State’s Attorney, completing the unexpired term of Jim Ryan who was elected Illinois Attorney General, and Anthony Peccarelli who was appointed State’s Attorney in January of 1995. One month later, Joe was elected to the position for a four-year term, and in November of 2000 he was re-elected for another four-year term. He was the Republican Nominee for Illinois Attorney General in 2002 and won all 102 Counties in the Primary Election. He was reelected to his third term as State’s Attorney in 2004.

Joe is a teacher, a frequent lecturer across the nation, and an award-winning administrator. He has been responsible for initiating policy and procedures and for training junior prosecutors. Throughout his career, Joe has received numerous awards and commendations for prosecutorial excellence from State’s Attorneys, law enforcement agencies and victims. He is a Past President of the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation, and is also a member of the American and DuPage County Bar Associations, DuPage American Inns of Court, Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, the Illinois House of Representatives Capital Punishment Task Force, the Illinois Governor’s Criminal Code Rewrite Commission and is an adjunct faculty member at National Louis University in Wheaton.

Joe donates time to coaching basketball, boxing and baseball. He and his wife Patti have been residents of DuPage County since 1977. They live in Wheaton with their two children and are members of St. Daniel’s Church.

From: http://www.judyforgov.com/about_judy_joe.php


Archive: Info gathered from Joe Birkett's previous races

 
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