When the polls closed on Nov. 2, Oglesby led Todd by a mere 145 votes, but the deficit continued to shrink as batch after batch of absentee ballots were canvassed. The number shrunk to 90 late last week, but the deficit was too large for Todd to overcome with the small number of outstanding ballots remaining. In 2006, Todd led Oglesby by a single vote when the polls closed on Election Night and went on to win by just 14.
After what was by all accounts a tense and often nasty campaign, the mood was decidedly conciliatory this week as the familiar foes moved toward a transition. Oglesby will remain deputy state’s attorney in
“I continue to be deputy state’s attorney in
Technically, Oglesby is to be sworn in as the new state’s attorney in
“One of the homicide trials is scheduled to begin the day I’m sworn in,” said Oglesby this week. “I’m not concerned about this. Already, I have access to the reports, the evidence and the law enforcement officers involved in the case and we’ll be ready.”
Preparing for that case, along with the other homicide cases and the countless other pending cases in
“I’ve been in touch with Mr. Todd and we’re working together toward a smooth, seamless transition,” he said. “It’s expedient on both of us to do that in the name of justice.”
For his part, Todd reached out to his successor in an official concession letter released late last week.
“I intend to make the way as smooth for him as I can,” he said. “I pledge to the voters that during the remaining time in my term of office, I will do everything I can to prepare him for the cases and issues awaiting him on the first Monday of January 2011.”
Experience was decidedly a major campaign issue and how Oglesby handles the major cases awaiting him when he takes office will certainly come under considerable scrutiny from many in the community. The newly elected state’s attorney said this week he expects that and welcomes it.
Oglesby said he is preparing for all aspects of his new position from the prosecution of cases to the administration of the office.
“There are two major aspects of this office,” he said. “There is the prosecution aspect, which doesn’t concern me because I’ve been doing this for 13 years. The other aspect is administration and personnel. They have questions about what I’m going to do and what happens next and, understandably, they want some answers almost immediately.”
Oglesby said it was premature to comment on possible changes in personnel but said he was going into the process with an open mind.
“I am going to meet with the staff about ideas for the office and explain what direction I see it going and collect their thoughts and ideas,” he said. “I don’t know at this point what, if any, major changes will be made, and I don’t have the authority to do that anyway. I’ll make informed, educated decisions when the time comes with feedback from the people in place. It’s a two-way street.”
In his concession letter, Todd thanked everybody, from the citizens of the county to his long-time staffers and mentors and from his law enforcement colleagues to the defense attorneys, he worked with over the years.
“It has been my honor and pleasure to serve the citizens and visitors of
Todd also reflected on his 25 years in the office and the challenges that come with being state’s attorney.
“The role of state’s attorney is at times difficult and demanding with a need, sometimes, to balance what is popular against what is ethical and what is just,” he said. “During my time in office, I have learned what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.”
The incumbent also urged his supporters to get behind his successor in the name of a smooth transition.
“To my supporters, I ask that you put aside partisan differences and your personal support for me and work together for the common pursuit of justice,” Todd said.
Todd also reached out to the 50.2-percent or so of those county voters who did not support his re-election bid.
“To those who did not support me, I regret that I did not satisfy your view of an effective prosecutor, but I make no apologies for the decisions I made as state’s attorney,” he said. “In each and every decision, I sought to enforce the rights of the public, protect the innocent and convict the guilty.”