Who Is Dwight Welch?

And why is he the face of the Chris Kelly investigation?

Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch has had his 15 minutes.

Now a lot of folks just want him to go away.

For some strange reason - perhaps because his police chief doesn't talk and the feds are keeping a low profile - Welch has become he public face of the mysterious Chris Kelly case.

Discounting Rod Blagojevich, of course, who apparently is already finished with his own investigation.

Welch has been mayor of the south suburb for nearly 20 years, the enduring image of which will likely be him holding up the driver's license of Kelly witness Clarissa Flores-Buhelos on live television for all the world to see.

Maybe that's how Country Club Hills issues an APB.

Welch also seems to have watched a few too many episodes of NYPD Blue, eagerly announcing in the early-going of the investigation that Flores-Buhelos had "lawyered up."

It's not an unusual term to hear around the federal building in Chicago or the grittier precincts of the city, but probably not a term a Country Club Hills mayor hears that often in real life.

Terry Gillespie is a defense lawyer tasked to represent his client with zeal, but in this case his angry retort that Welch had engaged in "unconscionable grandstanding" rang true.

In the least, Welch has acted carelessly, which is always a good way to endanger a criminal case.

But the criticism lobbed Welch's way hasn't slowed him down.

Now he is promising revelations at a press conference today that will leave people following the case both "pleased and a little surprised."

How anyone could be "pleased" with any new findings is a mystery in itself.

It's time to push Welch off the stage and let the proper authorities take hold of this case.

Or else Welch may say something we'll all regret.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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