Pulse: Will County on the hook for Vaughn trial fees
August 12, 2012 11:24PM
Updated: September 14, 2012 6:05AM
The price of justice?
The Will County Board will vote Thursday to put $35,000 in a special fund to pay for expert testimony in the defense of Christopher Vaughn in his upcoming murder trial.
Vaughn is accused of murdering his wife and three children in Channahon Township in 2007.
The money will be used to fly in experts to testify during the trial, which should get under way next week. Jury selection starts this week.
Before the death penalty was abolished in Illinois in 2011, Vaughn’s defense was paid for by the state’s capital litigation fund. But that fund has been eliminated, and Will County is on the hook to pay for experts hired by private lawyers who left the case once the state fund dried up.
Getting along in Joliet
They may not agree on the future of Illinois Youth Center-Joliet. But Gov. Pat Quinn, state Sen. Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, and state Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Elwood, all got along happily Friday when the governor was in Joliet to sign Walsh’s bill creating a new license plate for disabled veterans.
Quinn is closing the youth center, which was the first big issue facing McGuire and Walsh after they were appointed to the state Legislature this fall. Both legislators have tried to keep IYC-Joliet open.
But IYC-Joliet did not come between them Friday.
Walsh introduced Quinn as “the strongest supporter of veterans issues that we’ve ever had.”
Quinn, while speaking, noted McGuire was in the audience, called him “a personal friend,” and mentioned that they had known each other for almost 40 years.
Proud of his post
Will County Board Member Joseph Babich, D-Joliet, was delighted to have Gov. Quinn sign legislation at Cantigny VFW Post 367.
“I’ve been on the county board 29 years,” Babich said. “This is the first time a state bill has been signed in my home post.”
Babich is a Navy veteran who was commander of the Cantigny post in 1985.
Deutsche, Deutsche & Deutsche
Two familiar faces showed up at the Will County Forest Preserve Board meeting last week to lobby for an emergency hay production program to help livestock owners deal with a shortage.
Former board members Mary Ann Gearhart Deutsche and Lee Deutsche were on the board for so long that Lee said Mary Ann got a little confused when she heard the name Deutsche called during roll call. The name was called for Lee’s niece Katrina Deutsche, who now serves on the board.
“I had to hold her (Mary Ann) back so she didn’t say, ‘present,’” Lee joked.
The Deutsches — two widowers from opposite political parties — made headlines when they met while serving on the board in 1988 and married in 2002.
Cindy Wojdyla Cain and Bob Okon contributed to Pulse.