Tour of the PSB clarification —the debate continues

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11382203007077.jpg’, ”, ‘Paul Logli’);

Statement to The Rock River Times from Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office:

Contrary to the article in The Rock River Times, Jan. 18-24th issue, Mr. John Duerk, a government teacher from North Boone High School, was never denied access to the Winnebago County Courthouse or Public Safety Building.

Mr. Duerk is being denied open access to the State’s Attorney’s office and the assistance of an Assistant State’s Attorney to conduct his tour. He is, and always has been free to bring his students to the Courthouse or Public Safety Building. Nothing in my correspondence has ever indicated anything to the contrary.


Paul A. Logli

State’s Attorney

John Duerk’s response

My rebuttal to Paul Logli’s statement to The Rock River Times:

It is very clear to me that State’s Attorney Paul Logli is embarrassed by the fact that he denied my request to bring my students to the Public Safety Building in October of 2004, and even more embarrassed that he put the explanation for the denial in writing to me last year. When I originally called the Public Safety Building to set up my first field trip in the fall of 2001, I was told that I needed to talk to the State’s Attorney’s office if I wanted to visit on a field trip with my students. This makes complete sense in that the State’s Attorney is directly involved in most of what takes place in the building on a daily basis. During our visits we toured the courtrooms, a judge’s chambers, the police crime lab, and the inside the county jail. This is a procedure that necessitates someone from the State’s Attorney’s office to plan and guide us through. Now Mr. Logli is mincing words, making the argument that I can technically bring my students to the Public Safety Building, but that I will not receive assistance from his employees. His response lacks truthfulness as it was necessary to have someone from his office guide us every one of the four times we visited before.

The State’s Attorney and I are both aware that I am entitled to my First Amendment rights, and yet he has chosen to punish me for lawfully expressing myself in the community. As a citizen and taxpayer, I have a responsibility to question the decisions that my government makes as well as how public money is being spent. Now it has been revealed that the director of Animal Services, Gary Longanecker, does not have the proper qualifications as specified by the county’s own job description, and Mr. Logli shares in the responsibility for having hired him. I think we should all take notice when a county official is making more than $51,000 a year and lacks the mandated job requirements. As long as Mr. Longanecker occupies his current position as director and the euthanasia rate is not being addressed appropriately, I will continue to educate the community about this issue.

John A. Duerk


From the Jan. 25-31, 2006, issue

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