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Letters to the Editor

‘Strong work ethic, skills, experience’

For the first time in 30 years, Whiteside County voters will elect a new state’s attorney.  It is an important decision, and experience and qualifications should guide voters. As a candidate for state’s attorney, I welcome the opportunity to introduce myself.  

I grew up on the west end of Sterling in a working-class neighborhood. My father, Jack Koehler, was an electrician at the local steel mill, and my mother, Carol Koehler, was a registered nurse.

Throughout junior and senior high school, I delivered newspapers, picked beans, babysat, worked retail, and did other odd jobs in order to pay my school tuition. I paid for college and law school by working various jobs ranging from waitressing to working in the local steel mill as a laborer.

As your state’s attorney, I would continue to exhibit the same strong work ethic.

For more than 27 years, I have been a trial attorney, usually appearing in court on a daily basis. I began my career as an assistant state’s attorney in Whiteside County handling traffic, misdemeanors, felonies and juvenile matters. I also assisted in providing advice to the county board and supervising other personnel.

I am the only candidate with 13 years experience as an assistant prosecutor.

Fifteen years ago, I began a general law practice. This afforded me the opportunity to learn the administrative and budgetary aspects of running a successful law firm. As your state’s attorney, I would be able to wear the many hats of the top prosecutor immediately.

During my legal career, I have handled every type of criminal case, ranging from petty offenses to the most serious felonies. I have represented clients in many different civil matters and in cases on appeal. I have tried numerous cases before judges and juries.  I have served in administrative positions, both in the public and private sectors. As your state’s attorney, I would have the necessary skills and experience on the first day in office.

I have a vested interest in Whiteside County. I was raised in Sterling and have many family members and friends locally. I am involved in several charitable and community organizations. Many of you may know me from my volunteer work with Honor Flight, WeCAN, Jon Russell Boxing Club, Sacred Heart Church, Taste of Fiesta, and other groups. As your state’s attorney, I would continue to be an active participant in community service.

The safety and well-being of our residents is my primary concern. The gap between the arrest of violent offenders and consequences received should be closed, and severe penalties should be swiftly imposed.

Likewise, resources of the county should not be exhausted on non-violent offenders or those who make first-time, minor mistakes. I have already explored the steps necessary to begin specialty courts focusing on drug, mental health and veterans’ issues. As your state’s attorney, I would implement cost-effective programs designed to address those concerns.

I would appreciate your vote in this election, and thank you for your consideration.

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