A Trilogy (Lake County Establishment Republicans assume role of ‘Goliath’) – Part three: Lake County Republican higher-ups engage in hard-ball tactics to reclaim coroner’s office in 2012

November 3, 2011

What follows will be an account of the reprehensible actions concocted and set in motion by Republican higher-ups who had already chosen Steve Newton, by proxy, to be the Republican coroner candidate in 2012 as the one who could “bring home the bacon.”
Upsetting their apple cart was David Cooper, a conservative Republican, with his announcement of a possible run for coroner with a vow to “sweep the office clean.”

From that point onward David Cooper became the “fly in the ointment” and his candidacy had to be stopped from going forward.  No thought was given as to the effects their unscrupulous actions would have upon Cooper’s stellar reputation and his livelihood.  David Cooper had “upset the apple cart.”  Cooper’s unwelcome announcement mandated that a bulls eye be placed on his back to negate any possibility that he could follow through with his fervent desire to enter the 2012 coroner race. 

With the destruction of David Cooper front and center in the minds of a “Goliath” of Republican insiders — all who supported Steve Newton unconditionally and without reservations — actions were set in motion to accomplish their goal.
It mattered not that Steve Newton was fired in 2007 for an improper relationship with a female subordinate, or that he lacks the necessary background to fulfill the duties explicit in the coroner’s office, where as David Cooper has an eclectic background reflecting his many contributions to society, mortuary science degree, eight years of military police investigation, college degrees in sociology and law enforcement and has worked in the funeral industry for many years.
In that Barbara Richardson’s initially hired Steve Newton back in 1999, how could her judgment be questioned.  Instead, Newton would be respected as a wise choice for Lake County coroner and a qualifier for Newton (In 1999 Steve Newton was hired over five other candidates, one being David Cooper.).  

All fair-minded Republicans should find distasteful and reject the political chicanery and the destructive hard-ball tactics used against David Cooper.  Actions employed to destroy David Cooper cannot be allowed to go unnoticed or for the perpetrators to escape without punishment suitable to their despicable acts.
Intimidation against David Cooper can be directly traced to an e-mail he received from Marti Korpi on February 17, 2011(Marti is a Republican who attends, helps arrange, and hosts Republican functions.).
Korpi’s e-mail included many of the same statements Jim Wipper had previously related to Cooper by phone, which spoke of Steve Newton’s stellar qualifications for coroner, as told to Wipper by Barbara Richardson who had hired Newton in 2000.  David Cooper at the time believed that Wipper could give him good pointers on running for coroner as Wipper had served one year as interim coroner following Barbara Richardson’s 2003 retirement.  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Hi%20There.pdf      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Hi%20There.2.pdf
As David Cooper related to me, “Wipper ended his phone call in this way.  “If you’re really nice to Steve, he might give you a position in his office.”   
What followed was the wide spread circulation of e-mails to Lake County Republicans which contained a message similar to the one found in Marti’s initial e-mail.  In the aftermath of these emails, David Cooper found that the support he had once enjoyed from Republican ground-lings had begun to fade away.  
Hard-ball politics ensued after those David Cooper had previously trusted began to express displeasure at the use of a hearse Cooper owned and was using as a private contractor.
What follows, by necessity, are general statements absent names.  To reveal more would put in jeopardy an on-going investigation. 

An anonymous phone call was made from someone high up in the Lake County Republican Party with connections in Springfield, to the Villa Park State Secretary of State Police Office. The intent of the anonymous accusations were to make David Cooper unfit to run for Office of the Coroner.  Subsequently David Cooper was informed that he was in violation of the administrative code governing funeral home license plates.
As David told me after contacting numerous insurance contractors, “Why was I the only one being restricted from this privilege, when there were hundreds of other private contractors in Illinois who were not funeral home owners were allowed to possess hearse license plates?”
A police officer assigned to the Villa Park State Secretary of State Police Office was sent to David Cooper’s house to remove the plates from a hearse that he owned and had parked in his driveway.  Although the police officer arrived in an official car, he was out of uniform. 

When paper work (a citation) was requested of the police officer by David Cooper as to why his license plates were being pulled, he was informed by the officer that he had none.  The officer then proceeded to remove Cooper’s hearse license plate, which David had applied for and had obtained legally along with insurance, when purchasing his hearse. 

At the same time and in exchange, David Cooper was provided with regular passenger car plates for his hearse, making Cooper’s vehicle no longer useful for its intended purpose of providing him with a livelihood as a private contractor for funeral homes (Many funeral homes no longer owners of their own hearst.  They either rent them or use private contractors like David Cooper.).

It’s more than strange that anonymous allegation would have been used to take away David Cooper’s livelihood.  Surely States Attorney Mike Waller has been in office long enough to know that anonymous allegations acted upon as fact without an investigation to substantiate the allegations, would not hold under the scrutiny of a court.  Yet anonymous allegations, as false and outrageous as they were, were acted upon in confiscating a items that had been legally obtained by David Cooper. Not afforded David Cooper was his right as a citizen to obtain due process or a chance for redress. 

Important to note is, as far as I can tell, Lake County States Attorney, Michael Waller, has not yet received an account of the tactics that were employed against David Cooper.  And if he has been informed, would Waller even be willing to investigate his friends in the Republican Party?  Waller has not done so in the past.

David Cooper’s first realization of the extent of involvement and collusion among cooperating multiple parties that was required to initiate the hard ball tactics meant to destroy his reputation and livelihood — with the ultimate goal to disqualify David Cooper so Steve Newton could proceed unchallenged — came from an investigator’s report received by David Cooper through a FOIA request.  Not only were David Cooper’s license plates confiscated from the hearse he owned, but his employment internship was also terminated.  http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Employment%3AInternship%20ended.pdf  

David Cooper relates his reasons for running for coroner:  “The  Lake County Coroner’s job is not a “one line” job description.  The Coroner must be a person of the highest integrity, be honorable , and be trustworthy.  The Coroner must be an administration, a medical examiner, and a sleuth.  At times, the Coroner may be called upon to be a grief counselor, and as such, must be able to differentiate between true greed and that displayed to deceive.  The Coroner must be both a good listener and a good talker, with the ability to know when each is called for.”

In conclusion, my Goliath vs. David writeup will be accepted by some in the spirit it was written as a means to expose a degree of corruption that has been allowed to exist over the years in the Lake County Office of the Coroner.  For other it will prove to be a threat.  I will be called names and attempts will be made to smear my reputation upon the realization that their game is up.   

The following two articles, however, represent a dichotomy.  Both are about the Lake County Coroner Office.  Four months separates one from the other.  

The first article appeared in the “Lake County News-Sun” on June 7, 2011 in which Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran called the coroner’s operations ‘a ship out of control’ after finding during an April audit an array of items that had no purpose in a coroner’s office. Noted also was a poor evidence tracking system in death investigations. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/42165977/Corruption/Coroner%E2%80%99s%20Office%20ship%2Oout%20of%20control.pdfhttp://newssun.suntimes.com/news/8339932-418/coroner-office-no-longer-ship-out-of-control.html\

The second article was likewise published in the “Lake County News-Sun” in its weekend, October 22-23 edition and informed readers that the coroner’s office was no longer a ‘ship out of control’.  Why this reversal of status in so short a time?  According to Artis Yancey, a Democrat and former Waukegan Police Chief, he is responsible for the turn around of the the Lake County Coroner’s Office  through the installation of a computer system, at the cost of $8,000, “to maintain the integrity of the evidence chain and keep all the information together.”

I am puzzled, as you should rightly be.  According to the October “News-Sun” article, we are being led by Artis Yancey to believe that the ship has been righted and now has its sea legs?  What about all the sordid activities that transpired in the coroner’s office prior to the $8,000 expense of a new computer tracking system?   

Readers may be assured that much labor, thought and countless hours of time were spent in writing what is a factually correct expose which targets the Lake County Office of the Coroner.  

One right doesn’t correct so many wrongs, just because the wrongs were mostly kept under cover. 

Stay tuned.  As more facts become available a followup article will be forthcoming.  



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