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josh

United States

#1 Mar 16, 2011
mike

United States

#2 Mar 16, 2011
STATE REP. ROBERT RITA CONVICTED OF FELONY 20 YEARS AGO

Court records show that Democrat State Rep. Robert Rita (pictured right) was convicted 20 years ago of a felony, Illinois Policy Institute writes in a special report released today. Illinois law restricts felons from holding office.

The Illinois Policy Institute first learned of Rita’s felony record from a tip. The tipster said Rita had been arrested in Nye County, Nevada, and that one of the charges was a felony.

Jamie Kostiuk, a records clerk for the Nye County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Rita had been arrested in 1991, charged with both DUI and bribery.
WOW

Midlothian, IL

#3 Mar 16, 2011
LOL

Park Forest, IL

#4 Mar 16, 2011
Sounds about right. This is the man "leading" our town. Makes you think about all the rumors going around doesn't it. How long have the Ritas been in office? How long has our City in BI been going deteriorating? Sounds like the Rita's have been to blame the whole time.
Voters need act on this

AOL

#5 Mar 16, 2011
Ineligible for office
Ken Menzel has worked as a staff attorney at the Illinois State Board of Elections for five years. He has more than 27 years of election law experience.

Article XIII, Section 1 of the State Constitution indicates that a person with a felony conviction should be ineligible from holding public office, in the absence of a subsequent pardon, Menzel said, adding that the pardon must be issued by the governor of the state where the conviction occurred.

Brian Campolieti is executive secretary of the Nevada Board of Pardons.

Campolieti said Rita neither applied for nor received a pardon for his Nevada felony conviction.

As far as the Board of Pardons is concerned, weve got no records on him, Campolieti said.Hes never applied for a pardon, nor has he come before the pardons board for any reason.

While not commenting on Ritas case specifically, Menzel said there are several legal methods to remove a convicted felon from the legislature.

A states attorney or the Attorney General could bring an action to have them removed, Menzel explained.

Additionally, a voter in Ritas district could petition the court to have him removed from office.

Rita could also face criminal charges.

Part of a candidates Statement of Candidacy is a statement that theyre qualified for office, Menzel said.If they knew they were ineligible when they signed the statement, they would have a technical perjury violation. Whether the Attorney General would see fit to prosecute that, I dont know. Most likely theyd be removed from office.

Chicago attorney John Fogarty, Jr. is an election law specialist who researched the legal questions raised by Ritas felony conviction for the Illinois Policy Institute.

I have looked into the issue of whether a felony conviction in a sister state will function as a bar to holding office in Illinois, Fogarty said.Without doubt, a felony conviction in another state will disqualify an official from holding office, as would an in-state conviction.

Domestic violence charges
Rita has worked as a heavy equipment operator for the Cook County Highway Department since before his 1991 arrest.

His parents are politically powerful. His father is a former mayor of Blue Island. His mother currently serves as an alderman.

Despite his influential parents, Ritas first campaign for office was nearly derailed by another encounter with police.

In 2002, Rita was charged with domestic battery and criminal trespass after an ex-girlfriend told police he forced his way into her home and assaulted her.

At the time, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who was also a first-time candidate for office, said Rita should withdraw from his House race because of the domestic violence charges, which put her at contretemps with her father House Speaker Michael Madigan, who had supported Rita.

Rita won the election, and in April 2003, a jury found him not guilty of the charges.

Lisa Madigan did not immediately return calls seeking comment about what, if anything, she now intends to do regarding Ritas fitness for office
Eligible

Niles, MI

#7 Mar 16, 2011
Charged--Yes...Convicted??? Doesn't say but makes all of the difference.
Independent

AOL

#8 Mar 16, 2011
BREAKING NEWS: Attorney General Madigan Searching for Legal Loophole to Keep Rita in Office
josh wrote:
http://www.illinoispolicy.org/ blog/blog.asp?ArticleSource=39 61
SS Peloquin

Girard, OH

#9 Mar 16, 2011
People are getting desperate?
Independent

AOL

#10 Mar 16, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.State Rep. Robert Rita is a convicted felon, a long-hidden fact that election law experts say should have barred him from ever holding public office.

Rita, D-Blue Island, is currently serving his fifth term in the House.

The Illinois Constitution prohibits convicted felons from seeking elected office, absent a pardon.
You cant run for office if youre a convicted felon, said Cynthia Canary, director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

As to how this could happen, Canary said,Usually, its up to the party or the opposition to vet the candidate.

According to a staff attorney at the Illinois State Board of Elections, Rita could be removed from his House seat by the Attorney General, or even a states attorney. He could also face perjury charges, because all candidates must attest in writing and under oath that they meet the legal requirements for office, each time they run.

Because of a 1991 felony conviction from Nevada, Rita didnt meet the requirements of office for any of his five terms representing the 28th House District.

Rita was not willing to be interviewed for this story. He hung up during a phone interview after he was asked about his felony conviction. Dozens of phone calls, e-mails and messages left with his staff could not convince him to answer questions about the Nevada arrest, which occurred when he was 22 years old.
Rita was not willing to be interviewed for this story. He hung up during a phone interview after he was asked about his felony conviction. Dozens of phone calls, e-mails and messages left with his staff could not convince him to answer questions about the Nevada arrest, which occurred when he was 22 years old.

The Illinois Policy Institute first learned of Ritas felony record from a tip made to the Last Honest Man tip line, an anonymous hotline for reporting waste, fraud and abuse within all levels of Illinois government.

The tipster said Rita had been arrested in Nye County, Nevada, and that one of the charges was a felony.

Jamie Kostiuk, a records clerk for the Nye County Sheriffs Office confirmed that Rita had been arrested in 1991, charged with both DUI and bribery.

She was unable to locate hard copies of the files, saying the case may have been expunged.

It was either ordered to be sealed by the court or it was destroyed due to age, she said in an e-mail exchange.

Clerks at the Nye County courthouse were likewise unable to produce written copies of the arrest reports and court files.

A law enforcement agency told the Institute that the FBIs National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer indicates that Rita was arrested for bribery and DUI in Nevada.

According to court documents obtained by the Illinois Policy Institute, Rita was convicted of Nevadas obstructing officers in service of process statutea felony.

He could have been sentenced to imprisonment, but instead received two years of probation. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, pay a $2,000 fine and participate in drug and alcohol counseling.

Rita was allowed to serve his probation in Illinois, which began in 1992.

He performed his community service at St. Donatus Church in Blue Island, under the supervision of Father Robert Kleiner, who has since left the church.

By August 1992, Rita had paid his entire $2,000 fine and participated in drug and alcohol counseling. By January 1993, hed completed his community service. He was discharged from probation in January 1994
Eligible wrote:
Charged--Yes...Convicted??? Doesn't say but makes all of the difference.
george the east sider

Hammond, IN

#11 Mar 16, 2011
Steve granberg the next state rep ?
george the east sider

Hammond, IN

#12 Mar 16, 2011
they need to take his pension away and use that MONEY TO FIX GRANBERG'S BRIDGES
Elvis

AOL

#13 Mar 16, 2011
The Illinois Policy Institute has learned that Attorney General Lisa Madigan is searching for a legal loophole that would allow Rep. Robert Rita to remain in office.
Rita, the Institute revealed in a story published earlier today, is a convicted felon. The Illinois State Constitution prohibits convicted felons from holding public office.
"It's outrageous that the instinct of the top law enforcement official in Illinois is to seek a loophole rather than a resignation," said John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. "This loophole-instinct illustrates how far we have to go to eradicate corruption in Illinois
BlueIslander

Chicago, IL

#14 Mar 16, 2011
Elvis wrote:
The Illinois Policy Institute has learned that Attorney General Lisa Madigan is searching for a legal loophole that would allow Rep. Robert Rita to remain in office.
Rita, the Institute revealed in a story published earlier today, is a convicted felon. The Illinois State Constitution prohibits convicted felons from holding public office.
"It's outrageous that the instinct of the top law enforcement official in Illinois is to seek a loophole rather than a resignation," said John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute. "This loophole-instinct illustrates how far we have to go to eradicate corruption in Illinois
This is pure BULLSHIT! Lisa Madigan on her father's command is now looking for a way to keep this knucklehead in office!!! Way to go Madigans...slap every single voter in Blue Island in the face and kick them in the butt! This is absolutely unbelievable.

Since: Dec 10

Location hidden

#15 Mar 16, 2011
This is great! Maybe the district can finally get a real, educated representative.
Pixie

Midlothian, IL

#16 Mar 16, 2011
I guess Mr. Rita should have expunged his felony just like Mr. Tate should have checked his signatures.
Move Out- George

Gary, IN

#17 Mar 16, 2011
http://capitolfax.com/2011/03/16/subscribers-...
"A copy of a probation agreement provided by Rep. Bob Rita this afternoon appears to show that he was convicted of a gross misdemeanor and not a felony in 1992. The Illinois Policy Institute claimed today that Rita was convicted of Nevadas obstructing officers in service of process statutea felony. But the copy of the probation agreement shared by Rita shows otherwise.
Rita was pronounced guilty of Preventing or Dissuading Person from Producing Evidence, according to the probation form. He received a suspended sentence and two years probation. The form is dated June 26, 1992. The word felony appears to be completely xd out on the form and gross misdemeanor is left untouched.
Rita also provided a copy of a letter from his Las Vegas attorney dated two years after the probation form was signed. The letter answered questions about Ritas desire for an expungement. The attorney recollects in the letter that Rita was eventually charged with a gross misdemeanor, and tells him he has to wait a minimum of ten years after the date of conviction or release from custody to apply for an expungement.
The records were eventually expunged, according to the IPI story. Because of the expungement, its difficult to corroborate whether the record Rita supplied is genuine. However, Rita is adamant that he wasnt convicted of a felony. His Las Vegas attorney was out of the office and couldnt be reached. Ill let you know if I hear anything."
Wow

Chicago, IL

#18 Mar 16, 2011
Pixie wrote:
I guess Mr. Rita should have expunged his felony just like Mr. Tate should have checked his signatures.
Hey now...that is very deep and insightful. Thank's for sharing that thought...it put's a whole new spin on this matter.
Wow

Chicago, IL

#19 Mar 16, 2011
Eligible wrote:
Charged--Yes...Convicted??? Doesn't say but makes all of the difference.
If he was on probation...he was convicted.
TAKE BACK OUR TOWN

Midlothian, IL

#20 Mar 16, 2011
BlueIslander wrote:
<quoted text>
This is pure BULLSHIT! Lisa Madigan on her father's command is now looking for a way to keep this knucklehead in office!!! Way to go Madigans...slap every single voter in Blue Island in the face and kick them in the butt! This is absolutely unbelievable.
If he is allowed to stay in office we might as well bring back Blogo too! Can Illinois get any more corrupt
BIResident

Chicago, IL

#21 Mar 16, 2011
Move Out- George wrote:
http://capitolfax.com/2011/03/ 16/subscribers-only-officials- story-about-rep-rita-is-flat-o ut-wrong/
"A copy of a probation agreement provided by Rep. Bob Rita this afternoon appears to show that he was convicted of a gross misdemeanor and not a felony in 1992. The Illinois Policy Institute claimed today that Rita was convicted of Nevadas obstructing officers in service of process statutea felony. But the copy of the probation agreement shared by Rita shows otherwise.
Rita was pronounced guilty of Preventing or Dissuading Person from Producing Evidence, according to the probation form. He received a suspended sentence and two years probation. The form is dated June 26, 1992. The word felony appears to be completely xd out on the form and gross misdemeanor is left untouched.
Rita also provided a copy of a letter from his Las Vegas attorney dated two years after the probation form was signed. The letter answered questions about Ritas desire for an expungement. The attorney recollects in the letter that Rita was eventually charged with a gross misdemeanor, and tells him he has to wait a minimum of ten years after the date of conviction or release from custody to apply for an expungement.
The records were eventually expunged, according to the IPI story. Because of the expungement, its difficult to corroborate whether the record Rita supplied is genuine. However, Rita is adamant that he wasnt convicted of a felony. His Las Vegas attorney was out of the office and couldnt be reached. Ill let you know if I hear anything."
So in effect the story posted above was a pure horse crap lie? So who dropped the dime on Bobby?

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