The Perjury Investigator

Downstate prosecutor gets spotlight

Who Is John Schmidt, the Sangamon County State's Attorney now investigating a perjury case against Roland Burris?

Well, according to his state bio, he's a career prosecutor and lifelong resident of Springfield, a baseball and football fan, and a biker and runner.

He was appointed to the post in 1999, and won the job outright in 2000. "I don't want to be anything else," Schmidt said during that campaign. "I don't want to be a circuit judge. I don't want to be a state senator . . . The only thing you're going to see John Schmidt's name on the ballot for is state's attorney." He's been re-electing twice since then.

Last November, the Springfield State Journal-Register endorsed Schmidt - but with reservations.

"[W]e continue to be troubled by Republican Schmidt’s initial decision not to release search warrants requested by this newspaper related to cases pursued by two Springfield police detectives eventually fired for misconduct," the Journal-Register said. "It is an example of a troubling view held by some public officials about open records. That attitude needs to change, and we urge Schmidt to carefully weigh the public’s right to know in making future decisions."

Still, the paper concluded that "Schmidt has effectively prosecuted the cases the public is most concerned about. We urge his re-election."

Schmidt's resume includes working in the U.S. Attorney's office in central Illinois prosecuting drug and weapons cases.

Schmidt is a 1987 graduate of Western Illinois University and a 1990 graduate of the University of Tulsa law school.

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