The Law Offices of Kathleen Colton, Ltd.
             Criminal Defense / P.O. Box 1364 / St. Charles, IL 60174
HomeKathleen ColtonAbout UsCriminal LawIn the PressComments & ArticlesContact Us

Emotions mixed over drug court
Kane County Chronicle
Thursday, April 12, 2007  
BATAVIA – The pictures of Virginia Tribble before and after her involvement with the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court tell the tale of her struggle and her success.

In the first, she looks sickly. In the second, she looks healthy and happy.

Now-retired Circuit Judge Jim Doyle, who started the drug court in 2000, said Tribble’s tearful reaction to the pictures was common.

Tribble, of Aurora, is a successful graduate of the drug court and was the first to speak of its positive effect at a meeting Wednesday called by State Sen. Chris Lauzen, R-Aurora.

“I’m just so grateful [Doyle] was there because that’s what I needed,” Tribble said as her pictures circulated through the crowd. “Now, I’m a good mother to my kids, I’m a good daughter to my mother.”

Wednesday’s meeting at the Batavia VFW was attended by more than 50 people. It was called by Lauzen to address the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board’s continued “stonewalling of information” regarding the drug court, which offers nonviolent offenders treatment for an addiction in lieu of jail time.

In February 2005, the board filed a complaint against Doyle, alleging that he engaged in “acts of intimidation, retribution and vindictiveness” against defendants and court employees who disagreed with his tactics while he presided over the county’s Drug Rehabilitation Court. It further alleges Doyle violated defendants’ constitutional rights, admitted ineligible defendants into the court and failed to provide mentally illl defendants with proper treatment.

Lauzen said Wednesday that the investigation – which ended when Doyle retired in August – wasted taxpayer dollars and diminished the capabilities of the court. He added that he has been inappropriately barred from addressing and questioning the JIB during meetings relating to the group’s budget.

Some of those present Wednesday called the meeting biased, with one drug court graduate in particular voicing opposition to Doyle’s alleged practices. The meeting at times became heated, with attendees briefly yelling at one another.

“Aren’t we all humans whether we don a robe or put on a badge,” said Tom Ratz. “I never said Judge Doyle was a bad man ... You can certainly treat people differently. Things were different for different people, bottom line.”

Defense attorney Kathleen Colton questioned statistics that show a dramatic decrease in drug court participants following Doyle’s departure and asked Lauzen about his failure to educate attendees about the Judicial Inquiry Board.

“Don’t you want judges to be monitored,” she asked.

Many others jumped to Doyle’s defense, crediting him with the fact that they are still alive and out of jail.

Doyle, who sat quietly through all of Wednesday’s meeting, shook hands and hugged many of those present Wednesday. He said it was a pleasure to see the graduates at the meeting and also enjoyed running into them in the community with their families.

“It’s pretty exciting to see that,” he said.

Of the complaint that was filed against him and the topic of Lauzen’s meeting Wednesday, Doyle said only, “I’ve certainly moved on with my life.”