Jay Scott Macon County State’s Attorney announced Monday (Feb. 4).
Following is the news release of the announcement in his own words:
At the conclusion of my second term as Macon County State’s Attorney in November 2020, I will have served as a prosecutor for almost 34 years, with more than 32 of those years in this office. It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Macon County, and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my public service as a prosecutor. After lengthy consideration and discussion of the matter with my family, however, I have recently determined that it is time for something new.
Therefore, I will retire from the Macon County State’s Attorney’s Office at the end of this term, and I will not seek re-election to a third term of office. I have worked very hard since elected to improve the office, to protect the public, and to obtain justice for crime victims. I now plan to be engaged in a manner that will allow me to spend more time with those who mean the most to me – my family. I am very proud of my hard-working, talented colleagues in the office, and of the many successes and improvements to the office we have collectively achieved since I was elected in 2012. Together we have brought the office to a new level of professionalism, ethics, and public service.
My number one priority when first elected, creation of the Elderly Victims Crime Unit to aggressively prosecute those who prey on Senior Citizens, has been one of the most satisfying aspects of my career. We created a new position, Elderly Crime Victim Advocate, to help strengthen our cases and to assist Seniors through the sometimes harrowing experience of criminal prosecution. Out of these efforts came the Elder Fraud Hotline, the brainchild of a concerned citizen, Tony Caccomo. The Hotline has allowed us to keep countless people, both young and old, from falling victim to scams. Since its inception, thousands of calls have been received, not only from within Macon County, but from throughout the State of Illinois and several other states, and from as far away as Florida.
While our office has continued to lead the State of Illinois in the number of serious felons sent to prison per capita, we reduced the size of the office from 48 employees to 32, ended each fiscal year well under our budget, and reduced the office’s budget by more than $302,000. During this same period our felony jury trial conviction rate increased 34%, and our crime rates have continued to dramatically decline.
The people of Macon County have benefitted from more effective prosecution with less of a burden on taxpayers. We created the Community Outreach Program, which since 2012 has seen office staff participate in more than 250 community events and presentations to local organizations. Never before has this office been so involved with, and accessible to, our community. We greatly expanded our Internship Program, providing valuable practical experience to law school, college, and high school students interested in learning more about careers in the law and law enforcement. I hope they enjoyed their time in the office as much as we enjoyed having them. We instituted the annual Exemplary Citizen Awards Ceremony. To date we have recognized the heroic efforts of 77 ordinary citizens who went above and beyond the call of duty to assist crime victims and law enforcement, and to protect the public.
We are truly grateful that they took a stand for justice and public safety. We enhanced the effectiveness of the Adult Diversion Program, which I am proud to have been tasked with creating back in 1992, which diverts low-level, first-time offenders out of the court system, saving tax dollars and allowing those making a one-time mistake in judgment to avoid having a criminal conviction on their record. We increased our efforts in the collection of Program fees and restitution, bringing in more than $498,000 to the County General Fund and collecting more than $147,000 in restitution for crime victims. Since we added the Give Back to the Community Fee for Program participants in 2015, more than $18,000 has been donated to deserving local non-profit organizations. We revamped our Sex Crimes Unit, making effective prosecution of these cases a priority. As a result, victims gained justice, and our jury trial conviction rate increased 203%.
We aggressively prosecuted domestic violence cases, of which Macon County unfortunately has far too many incidents. Our efforts included adding an additional Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, to help us do our best to reduce the number of victims forced to endure the evils of domestic violence. We stood up for Second Amendment rights in 2013 by authorizing concealed carry in Macon County prior to enactment of concealed carry legislation by the State of Illinois. This helped send a message to Springfield to draft such legislation, and allowed law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional Right to keep and bear arms and to protect themselves outside of their own homes. And I am very proud of our efforts in changing the makeup of the State’s Attorney’s Office since I was first elected.
Our staff has revealed an ethnic and racial diversity such as never before in the history of the office. I would like to thank the men and women of our local law enforcement agencies for their dedication and for their assistance in keeping Macon County safer than other similar downstate counties. During my career I have worked with law enforcement officials from all over North America, and I can truly attest that there are none better than Macon County’s law enforcement team. Everyone in this county should feel fortunate to have such hard working officers, detectives, and prosecutors protecting them. Law enforcement works here.
I would also like to thank the many loyal supporters who helped me become State’s Attorney, as well as the voters of Macon County for entrusting me with the position of Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Macon County for two terms. I will always be grateful for the opportunities the position has brought me.
Since I joined the office in 1988 there has never been a day when I woke up and had the feeling that I didn’t want to go to work. It has been fun. I pledge to continue working hard for the citizens of Macon County, continuing to find ways to improve the office and the services it provides to the community, until my final day on the job. Sincerely, Jay Scott Macon County State’s Attorney.
Macon County Stare’s Attorney Jay Scott