Terronez resigns

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ROCK ISLAND, Ill.—UPDATED:  Rock Island County State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez resigned effective immediately.

Terronez is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, April 26, 2011 where he will face a misdemeanor charge of providing alcohol to minors.   He is expected to enter a guilty plea on that charge.

Terronez, who was once considered a “golden child” by local democrats, has been the target of an investigation by Illinois State Police.  Among the allegations against him are that he partied with and bought alcohol for teenage girls, but he had not yet been officially charged.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office said in February 2011 they were reviewing more than 4,000 documents connected to the investigation.  That followed action by State Police, who denied a WQAD request to review the case background, filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

News 8 was the first to report in October 2010 that Terronez was the subject of an Illinois State Police investigation.

Justice Tom Kilbride’s campaign officials pulled an ad which featured Terronez on October 1, 2010.

Possible conflicts of interest involving the Terronez investigation led defense attorney Herb Schultz to file a motion seeking a special prosecutor in the Casey Hunter case.  Hunter is accused of shooting at police.  Schultz questioned whether troopers could maintain objectivity since state police were also investigating Terronez, who was prosecuting the Hunter case.

The motion for a special prosecutor was denied.

In March 2011, Rock Island County Democrats met and discussed the future of their party.  They were still working to overcome harsh defeats in the mid-term election and to work past the potential reputation damage the Terronez investigation could bring.  Terronez is a democrat.

Terronez recommended Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Senko be appointed as his replacement.