DECATUR-- When my son Andrew was born in 2005, he was challenged with special medical needs that required three surgeries in his first year of life. Because of Andrew’s needs, my wife Judy and I were unable to find a daycare provider for him. Judy and I decided that she would stay home to care for Andrew. At that time, Judy had worked full time for the State’s Attorney’s Office for six years. Judy’s supervisor, following a precedent established with another employee, offered to allow Judy to work part time from home and at the office on weekends and evenings for $150 a week.
In December 2011, the Department of Children and Family Services stopped by our home and explained that, because Judy was already caring for our two small children, she could only care for one of the two children she was babysitting part-time. She immediately complied, and no further action was requested or taken by DCFS.
I have focused my campaign on the real issue: who is best qualified to be the chief prosecutor for this county. Mr.Hassinger now seems to want to make my wife and children an issue in the campaign. I have never spoken publicly or privately about Mr. Hassinger’s family, friends, or personal life, because I am convinced this kind of gutter politics does the voters a disservice and poisons civil discourse.
It’s worth noting that the ability to accurately interpret and enforce the criminal law is an important qualification—arguably the most important—for the chief prosecutor. Mr. Hassingeralleges that my wife’s babysitting was a criminal offense andthat DCFS improperly failed to report it. In fact, the very statute Mr. Hassinger cites in his attack states that it is only a crime ifan individual refuses to comply after receiving notice from DCFS. The same statute also says that if the individual complies, DCFS does not need to report it.
Judy and I are blessed that Andrew is a happy and healthy kid today.