Rock Island Stateâ€™s Attorney Relinquishes Pension, Agrees to Lifetime Ban on Serving in Public OfficeÂ Â
Rock Island, ILÂ â”€ Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Rock Island County Stateâ€™s Attorney Jeff Terronez will resign effective today after pleading guilty to the unlawful delivery of alcohol to a minor this morning in Rock Island Circuit Court. Terronezâ€™s resignation and guilty plea are the result of an Illinois State Police (ISP) investigation into allegations of misconduct involving a minor. The court appointed the Attorney General as a special prosecutor under seal to handle the case upon completion of the investigation by the ISP.
â€œThe people of Rock Island County elected Mr. Terronez and entrusted him to protect their communities and prosecute those who violate the law,â€ Attorney General Madigan said. â€œUnfortunately, he used his position of power to engage in an extremely unprofessional and inappropriate relationship, thereby forfeiting that public trust. As the special prosecutor in this case, my office sought a criminal conviction and demanded Mr. Terronezâ€™s resignation.â€
Terronez, 39, of East Moline, Ill., today pled guilty to one count of unlawful delivery of alcoholic liquor to a person under 21, a Class A misdemeanor. As a condition of his guilty plea, Terronez immediately resigned his post as the Rock Island County Stateâ€™s Attorney and pledged never again to seek public office. As additional conditions of his plea, Terronez withdrew from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund, thereby forfeiting his public pension. He will also serve the maximum 2 years probation and pay the maximum $2,500 fine.
On a referral from the East Moline Police Department, ISP began investigating allegations that Terronez had purchased alcohol for a minor in August 2010. Terronez came to know the minor involved in this matter because she was the victim in a criminal case that Terronez prosecuted.Â ISP completed its investigation and furnished the evidence to Attorney General Madiganâ€™s Criminal Enforcement Division, which had been appointed the caseâ€™s special prosecutor under seal on Oct. 29, 2010.
â€œMr. Terronezabused the most sacred relationship a prosecutor can have, that between the prosecutor seeking justice and a victim of crime,â€ Madigan said. â€œHis resignation is the first step in restoring the countyâ€™s trust in its justice system.â€
As appointed by Judge Oâ€™Connor, Chief Judge of the 14thJudicial Circuit, Madiganâ€™s office served as the special prosecutor. Senior Assistant Attorney General Bill Elward, Assistant Attorney General Steve Nate and Division Chief Rick Schwind handled the case for Madiganâ€™s Criminal Enforcement Division.