Posted by: thescoundrel | July 12, 2008

Loose Lips Flaming the Fires

As I sense about most Rock Island County politician wannabes, there are times I am just not convinced that States Attorney Jeff Terronez is the sharpest tool in the shed. It has been since mid April when East Moline police were involved in a shootout that caused the death of a suspect wanted for questioning in a string of robberies. After the death of the suspect things got nasty on the two local Newspaper Comments Forum surrounding what happened during the gunfight. A lot of nasty comments and innuendos were tossed back and forth between opposing sides discussing how the shooting went down. The discussion got nasty and volatile in the community, so Terronez decided to do an investigation that would give an explanation of what happened. At the time I thought (and I still do) that was an intelligent move on his behalf to calm the situation. In fact after a while the paper forums, despite goading from people on both sides of the issue, calmed down and everything has been more composed. The investigation has taken longer than many involved in the discussions would have liked. So what? It is far more intelligent and important for Terronez to take his time and finish the investigation in a manner that leaves no doubt to its thoroughness. Which is what he seems to be doing. Yet like a leaky bucket people involved in the investigation continue to leak out bits and pieces of insignificant information about the investigation that makes its way to the media. The most recent has been information saying that the investigation findings should soon be released. This is the second time in as many weeks I have seen this in print. Now the question is, why Terronez has not clamped a tight vise concerning all information surrounding the investigation and its eventual release. It makes no sense on something as volatile as this has become to sprinkle teasers out to the public. So instead of waiting to call a press conference after all the information is ready for release and announcing the results at that moment – we are instead getting little information trailers of coming attractions. All that does is stir the flames again and get the fire roaring before any real information is released. For all the work he and his team has put in to this investigation, all the mystery his people keep hinting about will fall on many ears already deafened because they have leaked just enough nothingness to start people getting incited again before he releases one actual finding of the investigation. What are they thinking?



  1. I’m thinking the “stir the flames and get the fire roaring” is the plan, at least for “the community”.

    As you mention, Terronez isn’t exactly the coldest beer in the fridge, and the pressure coming from “the community” must be intense.

    A seasoned SA would have the maturity to deal with this pressure; my guess is that Terronez does not and is doing this leaky-love thing in an attempt to pacify the angry “community” until the report is ready to see the light of day.

    Sooooo, while it would be in the interest of justice to wait and release the report, the “community” and Terronez’ fecklessness seem to be working together (though probably not intentionally) to inflame the already inflamed passions of the case.

  2. I agree a better State Attorney would have handled it more intelligently. I do not think the leaks are intentional. I think they are just dodging the issue badly. When quizzed he and his crew should just have looked the cameras in the face and said “there was a young man who lost his life in a tense situation that has grieving family and friends on edge and questioning the event. There is a dedicated police officer involved whom is having his name, honor and career unjustly denounced by some in the public. When we are finished with the investigation we will bring to the public what has been determined as facts. All the people involved in the situation deserve the best efforts our team has to offer and that is not served by playing twenty questions before all the information is evaluated. That is all we have to say about the investigation.” But Terronez and his team seem incapable of basic public relations. It is really a sad affair the way they are handling the event.

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